In recognition of National Stroke Month, Barnabas Health urges you to recognize the symptoms of a stroke; the fourth-leading cause of death in America, and the leading cause of disability.
A stroke occurs when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. This interruption can cause serious problems because the brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to function. After just a few minutes without blood or oxygen, brain cells begin to die, which results in a loss of brain function.
If these symptoms occur, call 911 immediately:
Sudden weakness, numbness or paralysis of the arm, leg, face or side of the body.
Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes or double vision.
Sudden fall, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
Sudden intense or unexplained headache.
Trouble talking or understanding speech or loss of memory.
Acting FAST to Save a Life
Acting quickly can be the difference between life and death, so act FAST if you suspect stroke:
F = Face
Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A = Arms
Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = Speech
Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
T = Time
Early Intervention is Key
Because brain cells start to die within minutes of a stroke, the sooner intervention takes place, the better. The key to early intervention is noticing the symptoms and taking action immediately. Don’t wait to see if they go away on their own. The longer it takes for a person to get medical attention, the more complications he or she will have as a result of the stroke.
For more information about stroke and Barnabas Health’s world-renowned neuroscience program, visit http://goo.gl/CQo849
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