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Stroke Strikes Fast.  You should too.

The National Stroke Association (NSA) recently reported that strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States and are the leading cause of long-term disability in adults.  They estimate that 2 million brain cells die every minute during a stroke.  The damage caused can be greatly reduced when treatment is given within 60 minutes of the initial onset of the stroke.  The key is to recognize a stroke is occurring and to get to a hospital quickly. 

Few Americans know the signs and symptoms of a stroke.  Learning them could save your life or the life of a loved one.  A stroke injures the brain so the person who is having the stroke may not be aware of what is happening.  If a person is there to witness the stroke, they may just think the person seems confused or disoriented at the moment and not seek treatment. 

Common stroke symptoms include: A sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially affecting one side of the body.  Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.  Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance. Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

The NSA recommends using the F.A.S.T test for recognizing and responding to symptoms:

F=FACE: Ask the person to smile.  Does one side of the face droop?

A=ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms.  Does one arm drift downward?

S=SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does their speech sound slurred or strange?

T=TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 or get to the nearest hospital immediately. 

Information was obtained from the National Stroke Association at www.stroke.org. For more information contact your Caring Workplace Eldercare Specialist, Heather O’Brien at 314-802-5106, toll free 1-888-388-1930 or hobrien@standrews1.com.