Know the warning signs of stroke (sponsored)
Special to The Union
Stroke is the leading cause of disability among American adults and the fourth leading cause of death.
Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke and every 3 minutes someone dies of a stroke. October 29 is World Stroke Day – an opportunity to learn how to reduce your risk of stroke and to recognize when someone around you may be having a stroke.
There are some stroke risk factors that we cannot control:
— Age (risk of stroke doubles with each decade after age 55)
— Hereditary (risk of stroke increases if a parent, grandparent or sibling had a stroke)
— Race (African Americans have increased risk of stroke compared to Caucasians)
— Gender (stroke is more common in men than women)
— Prior stroke or heart attack (risk is much greater if you have a history of previous stroke or heart attack).
However, there are many risk factors for stroke that you can change – and addressing them can significantly reduce your risk of having a stroke. These include:
— Blood pressure control
— Quit smoking
— Lower your cholesterol
— Modify your diet, lower salt intake and increase fiber intake.
— Exercise and stay active (brisk walking, jogging or running) for at least 30 minutes on most days
It is very important to recognize stroke symptoms early — the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association have developed an easy way to help the general public remember the warning signs of stroke Ω F.A.S.T.:
Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop or is numb?
Arm: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is there speech slurred or strange?
Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
F.A.S.T. is an easy way to recognize the sudden signs and symptoms of a stroke.
When you can identify these signs, you can act quickly to call 911 for help.
This is very important because most strokes need early treatment, so the sooner a person gets to the hospital; the sooner they can be treated.
Since in stroke TIME IS BRAIN, this can make a difference between recovery or no recovery.
If a stroke occurs, patients and their families can rest assured knowing that Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital is recognized for excellence in stroke care by the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association, as a recipient of the GOLD PLUS – Get With The Guidelines-Stroke certification.
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