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According to a new survey, people more likely to witness a stroke might not know how to identify one; free app helps people Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T.
Nashville, TN – Crystal Wall was having a typical chat on the phone with her sister Chassity Anderson — until her sister’s phone abruptly crashed to the floor and her words suddenly became slurred.
Anderson, 37, was having another stroke.
“Because my sister had suffered from stroke before, I recognized the warning signs and knew to call 9-1-1,” Wall said. “I know stroke is something that can happen to anyone at any time and if it does, you have to act quickly. The longer you wait, the worse it can be.”Sarah Urmeneta of Mt. Juliet was working a retail job at age 24 when her arm went numb and her vision suddenly changed. Her mom, a nurse, recognized the signs of a TIA – a transient ischemic attack, or warning stroke, and convinced Sarah to seek help.
“I didn’t know until I started working with the American Heart Association how serious this was, and that I should have called 9-1-1 immediately,” said Sarah.
Sandra Miller-Roberson of Murfreesboro was working out at the gym when she was struck with severe pain in her head.
“I thought if I could just take a nap, I’d feel better. But a paramedic nearby convinced me to go to the ER. I lay down on the floor there, and that’s the last thing I remembered for three weeks,” said Sandra. Her “headache” was a burst brain aneurysm – a hemorrhagic stroke.
One in six people worldwide will have a stroke in their lifetime. In the United States, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds and it’s the fourth-leading cause of death. In Tennessee, about 3200 people die of stroke each year.
In recognition of World Stroke Day on October 29th, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association urges those who care for others to learn the stroke warning signs, since bystanders often need to act fast in an emergency.
A new survey commissioned by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association found that many people who care for family or friends at high risk for stroke don’t know the potentially life-saving warning signs.
“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, M.D., 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.”
The American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative, nationally sponsored by Covidien, a global healthcare product company, teaches the acronym F.A.S.T. to remember stroke warning signs:
F – Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
A – Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S – Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
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.
“Those with loved ones who have stroke risk factors should make it a priority to learn F.A.S.T. and teach others,” said Lopes. “Recognizing a stroke and calling 9-1-1 gives the patient a greater chance of getting to an appropriate hospital quickly and being assessed for life-saving treatment like a clot-busting drug or medical device.”
The association offers a free mobile app called Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T. to help people know the signs of stroke and identify award-winning hospitals nearby.
This year, 795,000 people in the United States will have a first or recurrent stroke. Other than a prior stroke, major stroke risk factors include:
For more information about the stroke warning signs and mobile app, risk factors or Together to End Stroke, visit www.StrokeAssociation.org.
TopicsAfib, African-Americans, American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, Atrial Fibrillation, Call 911, Chicago IL, F.A.S.T., High blood Pressure, Hypertension, Mt. Juliet TN, Murfreesboro TN, Nashville TN, Smoking, Stroke, Tennessee, United States, World Stroke Day
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