Stroke Is the Fourth Leading Cause of Death in US

Yet Most People Can't Name One Sign or Symptom
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Wyatt David was starting his day as an elementary school teacher when he had sudden trouble seeing. It was a stroke. Luckily, he knew the signs and got to the hospital right away for treatment.

David is one of 592 Faces of Stroke featured on stroke.org demonstrating the personal side of stroke and educating the public about important stroke facts through individual personal experiences.

Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death. Recognizing symptoms and acting FAST to get medical attention can save a life and limit disabilities.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month and National Stroke Association encourages the public to act and think FAST when it comes to stroke. The sooner an individual gets emergency medical treatment, the better their odds are for survival and recovery.

FAST is a memory aid to help recognize the symptoms of stroke. It stands for:

Face = Does one side of the face droop?
Arms = When both arms are raised, does one arm drift downward?
Speech = Is the person's speech slurred or garbled?
Time = Call 9-1-1 immediately if any of these symptoms occur

"The public is dangerously uninformed about stroke," said Jim Baranski, CEO of National Stroke Association. "Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and knowing the signs can save your life or the life of a loved one."

Other stroke symptoms include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden vision loss; sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance; and sudden severe headache with no known cause. Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented through controlling various risk factors.