What health condition is treatable if symptoms are identified F.A.S.T.? Stroke. What health condition is 80 percent preventable? Stroke.
May is National Stroke Awareness Month, a time to educate the nation and spread awareness about stroke prevention, symptom recognition and recovery. In recent years stroke deaths have declined by 10,000 Americans. This year, National Stroke Association hopes to continue to reduce stroke deaths and disability by educating the public to recognize stroke symptoms, and to Act F.A.S.T. and “Save a Life”.
F = FACE Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A = ARM Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = SPEECH Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
T = TIME If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to call 9-1-1.
For the six million stroke survivors in the United States, Acting F.A.S.T. is even more critical because they are at risk for a recurrent stroke. But stroke prevention is only one part of the stroke recovery journey. For stroke survivors, the other integral component is National Stroke Association’s message of HOPE: Stroke is a Lifelong Journey. Because hope is such an important part of a successful stroke recovery.
Most strokes can be treated. The FDA-approved treatment for ischemic (clot-caused) stroke is t-PA, a clot-busting drug that dissolves the blood clot and restores blood flow to the brain. For the drug to work effectively, t-PA must be given within three hours of the first sign of stroke symptoms. The public needs to be aware of their stroke risks and have a strong knowledge of stroke symptoms to get the treatment they or their loved ones need to Act F.A.S.T.:
- For every minute that brain cells are deprived of oxygen during stroke, the likelihood of brain damage increases. Act F.A.S.T.
- Treatment can be more effective if given early on. Act F.A.S.T.
- TIA (transient ischemic attack) is a risk factor of stroke and a call to action to prevent a stroke. Act F.A.S.T.
Up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable, yet more than 750,000 Americans suffer strokes each year. There are many steps you can take to help prevent a stroke. National Stroke Association’s Prevention Guidelines include keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, quitting smoking, and drinking in moderation.