Stroke is an all too common medical emergency that affects more than 795,000 people in the United States each year; of that number, 140,000 people die from complications.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a stroke occurs every four seconds and someone dies from stroke every four minutes. Because the chances of an occurrence are high, there is a possibility that you may come in contact with a person while they are having a stroke. Knowledge is key when helping someone in this situation.
Stroke can occur when there is a blockage of blood supply or bleeding in the brain. Both instances can lead to severe symptoms if not addressed with urgency. When stroke occurs time equals brain: meaning for every minute without treatment 1.9 million neurons (the building blocks of the nervous system) may become damaged or die.
Time is essential when treating stroke. The sooner you recognize the warning signs, the sooner you can seek emergency care. When it comes to recognizing stroke, all you have to remember is F-A-S-T:
- Facial droop: one side of the face isn’t moving like the other. If you ask them to smile, it will appear lop-sided or crooked.
- Arm weakness: one side may be weaker than the other, or they cannot raise both arms together. There may also be numbness or tingling of the arm or leg.
- Speech difficulty: slurred speech, or speech that may not make sense. They cannot repeat a simple phrase or aren’t forming their words normally.
- Time: if you notice any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately and remember the time you first noticed symptoms, this will be very important information when it comes to treatment.
Other signs of stroke may include a sudden severe headache, changes to vision, confusion, numbness/tingling, trouble walking or poor balance.
If someone you know has symptoms of stroke, CALL 9-1-1! Emergency medical staff can provide early diagnosis and treatment and ensure that the patient gets transported where they need to go as quickly as possible. Recognizing the signs of stroke early can save a life!
For more information about stroke and stroke prevention and treatment, you can go to www.cdc.gov/stroke or www.stroke.org or schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss what risk factors you may have and what you can do to minimize your risk of stroke.
To schedule an appointment with a Family Medicine Doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-6942
Andrew Flowers, MD- Family Medicine
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.