Stroke kills more than 133,000 people each year in the United States and is a leading cause of long-term disability. During Stroke Awareness Month in May, Bayhealth is offering insight on the warning signs of stroke and providing information on how to reduce your risk factors for stroke.
“It’s vital to recognize the warning signs of stroke quickly and get emergency care immediately. The sooner you get medical attention, the better your odds are for limiting the damage of a stroke and having the best outcome possible,” said Bayhealth Stroke Center Coordinator Kimberly Holmes, RN, MSN, PCCN.
You can remember the warning signs of stroke by thinking “F.A.S.T.”
Face. Facial drooping is a classic sign of the onset of stroke.
Arm. Arm numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body, is another significant red flag.
Speech. Take note of slurred speech or difficulty understanding. Trouble walking, dizziness, and loss of balance are also signs of stroke.
Time. Every second counts when it comes to treating stroke. Don’t wait! Call 911 immediately!
According to Holmes, you can significantly reduce your risk for a stroke by maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Keep your blood pressure down and monitor your cholesterol level. Stay active and maintain a healthy body weight. Also, keep in mind that smoking and heavy alcohol use are direct risk factors for stroke. Be aware that stroke can happen at any age and that 25 percent of stroke victims are under the age of 65.