Spot a Stroke Fast

hospital sign with lifelineA Stroke is basically a “heart attack” of the brain. Blood flow is cut off, which depletes the oxygen source to the brain.  According to the National Stroke association 2 Million brain cells die every minute during a Stroke, which can lead to numerous after effects including visual disturbances, seizures, incontinence, paralysis, pain, fatigue, and loss of cognitive function.

Obviously, prevention is the best medicine as they say, and controllable risk factors include controlling blood pressure, not smoking, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy diet lower in sodium.  If you think you may be at a higher risk for Stoke, you can have your Homocysteine and/or C-Reactive Protein checked as elevated levels of both are associated with Stroke.

Using the Acronym F.A.S.T to spot the early signs of a Stroke could save a life.  F is for face.  Facial drooping or inability to smile is the first sign to look for.  A is for Arms.  Is there weakness in one arm, and or does it droop when raised up?  S is for Speech.  Is it difficult to speak or are the words slurred?  T is for time.  If you notice any of the above signs, call 911 as soon as possible.

The National Stroke Association States there are an estimated 7 million stroke survivors in the U.S. over the age of 20, and 795,000 strokes occur each year.  Act F.A.S.T and hopefully we can improve upon those numbers.