National Stroke Awareness Month
May is National Stroke Awareness Month, a great time to talk about recognition, treatment and prevention of stroke.
Stroke is a major cause of death and disability in the U.S. and, until recently, there was little treatment for stroke. Recent advances in stroke care have made it urgent that people become aware of the signs and symptoms of stroke and “Act F.A.S.T.” if they occur.
If a person comes directly to the emergency room, they may be able to receive a drug that may decrease the severity of the stroke and improve the chances of recovery. The drug (t-PA) is often called “the clot-buster,” because it can do just that – break up the blood clot that is often the cause of stroke. This restores blood flow to the brain. The drug can only be given within the first few hours of symptom onset. Therefore, anyone having signs of stroke must seek medical attention immediately. Stroke is an emergency!
“Act F.A.S.T.” to tell if a person is having a stroke:
F= Face – do they smile with only half their face or half their face is drooping?
A=Arms -are they unable to raise both arms and hold them up?
S=Speech -is their speech slurred, garbled or gone?
T-Time – Time to CALL 911- If the answer is yes to any of the above questions!
Help prevent stroke by following a heart healthy lifestyle. Eat right, exercise and don’t smoke. Also, keep your blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol under control. Get regular check-ups with your doctor.
Share information about the warning signs of a stroke with your friends and loved ones!
Know the Warning Signs of a Stroke:
* Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg
* Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
* Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
* Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
* Sudden severe headache
Submitted by Karry Morris MSN, RN-BC
Cardiovascular Nurse with MCH Cardiovascular Services