National Stroke Awareness Month

stroke awareness

May is Stroke Awareness Month and it couldn’t come at a more necessary time. Every 45 seconds someone in America experiences a stroke. A stroke causes 32,000 brain cells to die in one second. Stokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Twice as many women die of stroke than breast cancer every year. Stroke and heart disease will kill twice as many women as cancer.

Symptoms of a Stroke

Since this month is National Stroke Awareness Month, please take some time to learn the symptoms of strokes, such as:

  • Vertigo, like the room, is spinning
  • Imbalance
  • One-sided arm or leg weakness.
  • Slurred speech or dysarthria
  • Double vision or other vision problems
  • A headache
  • Nausea and or vomiting

Spot a Stroke FASTER

Also, FAST is an acronym used to help detect if a person is having a stroke. It was developed in 1998 in the United Kingdom. Today is has been modified with 2 new points added. The new acronym is FASTER.  This acronym stands for:

  1. F stands for Face, which refers to drooping or numbness on one side of the face versus the other. Ask the person to smile to make the droop more apparent.
  2. A stands for Arms, which refers to one arm being weaker or more numb than the other. Ask the individual to raise both arms up and hold them for a count of ten. If one arm falls or begins to drop, then this could be a sign of a stroke.
  3. S stands for Stability, which refers to steadiness on your feet. Sometimes individuals will fall, feel very dizzy or be unable to stand without assistance. Difficulty maintaining balance, trouble walking and loss of coordination are all possible stroke symptoms.
  4. T stands for Talking, which refers to changes in speech including slurring, garbled, nonsensical words, or the inability to respond appropriately. Individuals experiencing a stroke may be difficult to understand, or they may have difficulty understanding others. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like “The sky is blue.”
  5. E stands for Eyes, which refers to visual changes. These visual changes occur suddenly and can include complete vision loss in one eye, double vision, and partial loss of vision in one or both eyes.
  6. R stands for React, which is a reminder to call 911 immediately if you recognize any of these symptoms. Call even if the symptoms go away and try to remember when they first began..

Identifying and reacting to stroke symptoms quickly is crucial to achieving proper treatment for an individual experiencing a stroke. You could save your life or the life of someone you love as a result. Please visit Stroke.org for more information.