Family members aren’t prepared for stroke emergency
Do you know how to recognize a stroke? Would you know what to do if someone — or you — had one?
Many people don't, and 795,000 people in the United States will have a stroke this year.
In a recent American Heart Association/American Stroke Association survey, only 41 percent of people who care for family with significant risk factors for a first-time stroke could name at least three stroke warning signs.
As part of World Stroke Day on Oct. 29, and National Family Caregivers Month in November, the American Stroke Association is urging Americans to learn the stroke warning signs and to act fast when a stroke occurs.
"The patient doesn't always recognize their own stroke and when they do, sometimes their symptoms make calling for help difficult, if not impossible," said Demetrius Lopes, MD, surgical director of RUSH University Stroke Center in Chicago and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association spokesperson. "Just like we need to learn CPR to save someone else's life, we need to learn how to spot a stroke and act fast for the best chance of a positive outcome."
Through the Together to End Stroke initiative, nationally sponsored by the global healthcare product company Covidien, the association teaches the acronym F.A.S.T. to help people remember stroke warning signs:
F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb?
A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb?
S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand?
T - Time to call 9-1-1: 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.
The association has a free mobile app to help people spot a stroke fast and identify award-winning hospitals nearby.
For more information about stroke warning signs and risk factors, visit StrokeAssociation.org.