Know the Signs of a Stroke

Someone in the United States dies of a stroke every four minutes. And, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds.  One-third of the stroke victims are younger than age 65.

These startling statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should signal everyone to recognize and to prevent strokes.

May is Stroke Awareness Month and Saint Francis Healthcare System is offering a free stroke screening Thursday, May 11, from 7-10 am at the Saint Francis Conference Center (enter through Entrance 8).

Screenings will include a risk assessment, blood pressure reading, cholesterol testing and medical consultation. For the most accurate results of the cholesterol testing, a 10- to 12-hour fast is required.

Risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and certain blood disorders. Other factors that increase the likelihood of a stroke include physical inactivity, smoking, obesity and excessive alcohol and drug use.

“You need to know the signs of stroke so you can head to the Emergency Department if it happens to you or a loved one,” says Andrew Godbey, MD, MSPH, neurologist, Saint Francis Medical Partner.

A person having a stroke may exhibit numbness or weakness on one side of the body, confusion, trouble seeing or walking, a severe headache or speech difficulties.

Strokes happen fast. It is important to recognize the signs of a stroke and call 911 immediately if someone begins to show signs of a stroke.

To help determine if someone is having a stroke, remember FAST.

Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop or is it numb?

Arm: Ask the person to raise both arms. Is one weak or numb?

Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is their speech slurred or strange?

Time: Time to call 911.

For more information on strokes or to make an appointment for the stroke screening, please call 573-331-3996 or click here to visit our event page.