According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and a stroke victim dies every four minutes. Unfortunately, one-third of these victims are younger than 65.
These startling statistics reinforce the importance for everyone to recognize the signs of stroke and work to prevent them.
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. For every thirty minute delay in treatment, there is a 10 percent decrease in recovery,” says Neurologist Randall Stahly, DO, FAAN, at Cape Neurology Specialists, a 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 BE FAST.
- Balance: Is the person suddenly having trouble with balance or coordination?
- Eyes: Is the person suddenly experiencing blurred or double vision or a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes?
- Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of his or her face droop. Ask them if it is 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 immediately.
“Without the stroke commercial that Dr. Stahly did, I could have lost my mother that day.”
– Dan Chandler, Jackson, MO