Quick recognition and fast treatment of strokes can make all the difference in a patients outcome. I am here to support the American Heart Associations American Stroke Month in May. This is in concert with their new initiative “Together To End Stroke” an educational aim at the general public to share the Risk Factors, Prevention, Warning Signs and the early Treatment of strokes. All this is great information that could have a major impact on someone close to you when they are in crisis. Some new statistical information from the American Heart Association highlights some amazing facts.
- In the United States someone has a stroke every 40 seconds
- Stroke is the #3 killer for women and #5 for men
- Over 750,000 strokes per year
- Over 6.8 million persons over the age of 20 has had a stroke
With these kinds of numbers you can see why we all need to be aware of how to recognize and handle strokes. If you or someone you know is having a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately. Here are some early warning signs. Just remember the word FAST.
F- Face Drooping, when one side of the face droops or feels numb. Ask the victim to smile. If the smile is uneven this could be a sign of a stroke.
A- Arm Weakness, when one arm is weak or numb. Compare by having the victim raise their arms or grip your hands.
S- Speech Difficulty, when speech is slurred or the victim is hard to understand or unable to speak.
T- Time to call 9-1-1, when someone shows any of these symptoms call 9-1-1 at once.
Quick action can enable them to get the drug tPA, a clot buster. This drug is used on about 85% of the stroke victims in the U. S.
This early detection and fast treatment of strokes using these warning signs will minimize long term effects and greatly improve survival rates.