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Get Educated - May is American Stroke Month

by Jason H. on Thursday, May 9, 2013

Did you know that May is American Stroke Month?  Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death among adults in the U.S. It kills 128,000 people a year – that’s about one in every 19 deaths.  Every 40 seconds, someone in America has a stroke. On average, every four minutes, someone dies from stroke. 

Calling 9-1-1 gets stroke patients to the hospital fast during a stroke emergency.  Yet, according to new research in an American Heart Association journal, more than a third of stroke patients don’t go to the hospital via ambulance.  When someone recognizes a stroke and acts fast by calling 9-1-1, the patient has a greater chance of getting to an appropriate hospital quickly and improving the outcome.

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you'll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. is:

F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "the sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
T - Time to call 911: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Being transported to the hospital by ambulance is associated with:

· Early arrival – getting to the hospital within 3-hours of symptom onset to be evaluated for clot busting drugs or potential medical procedures or devices
· Quicker evaluation – getting a brain scan within 25 minutes of hospital arrival
· Faster treatment – receiving clot busting drugs within 60 minutes of arrival

Also, a free mobile app is available to help people to recognize a stroke F.A.S.T. and 9-1-1 may be dialed directly from the app. For more information visit StrokeAssociation.org.

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