Thursday, November 26, 2009

Read about Stroke. Hear about Stroke. Know about Stroke

by Linda Pazdalski, B.S.N., R.N.
Stroke Program Coordinator, Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute

You read it in any number of publications, hear it on any number of radio programs, and see it on any number of TV commercials almost daily…..Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US. STROKE IS THE THIRD LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE US. STROKE IS THE THIRD LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE US.

But…..are you able to recognize a stroke when it happens?

Stroke warning signs:
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Use the mnemonic: F.A.S.T.

Face…….Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arm……..Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech…Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?
Time……If someone you know has one or more of these signs, call 911 immediately.

The speed with which one who has sustained a stroke receives medical attention greatly influences the speed and quality of their rehabilitation and their return to normal activities. Regardless of type, all strokes can have a devastating impact on the survivors and on all of those who care for them.

Learn the signs. Use the mnemonic. Help someone survive and thrive.

For more information about stroke, visit the Power to End Stroke Web site or contact the American Heart Association, 1-800-AHA-USA-1 (1-800-242-8721). To learn more about stroke programs at LifeBridge Health, click here.

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