It’s Stroke Awareness Month!
May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) want you to be aware of the most common stroke symptoms, and know what to do if you see them.
The five most common symptoms, which tend to come on suddenly, are:
- Numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially when on just one side of the body;
- Confusion, including having trouble speaking or understanding;
- Trouble seeing, in one or both eyes;
- Dizziness, having trouble walking or balancing;
- Headache, especially pain that comes on suddenly.
Getting treatment as quickly as possible is important. If a stroke is caused by a blood clot, there are drugs that can help dissolve the clot, but they are only effective if given within the first few hours after the symptoms start.
So if you think you or someone you know is having a stroke, call 9-1-1 for help.
Stroke symptoms F.A.S.T
An easy acronym for strokes is F.A.S.T.:
- Face—Ask the person to smile. Is the smile lopsided, with one side of the face drooping?
- Arms—Ask the person to raise their arms over their head. Can they raise one arm but not the other?
- Speech—Ask the person to repeat a short phrase, such as “Tell me your name and where you were born.” Is their speech slurred? Do they look confused and can’t answer you?
- Time—A reminder that seeking help quickly is important if you suspect a stroke.
Related post: First aid for stroke symptoms
Resources for Stroke Awareness Month
There are several great websites with lots of educational information about reducing your risk of having stroke, treating strokes, and living with stroke disabilities. Check them out!
Million Hearts—A national initiative by the CDC and DSHS with the ambitious goal to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017!
Together to End Stroke—The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association share a mission to reduce heart disease and stoke, and increase public awareness.
Hope After Stroke—The National Stroke Association provides information about preventing and treating strokes, but they are also advocates for stroke survivors and their caregivers.
Happy National Stroke Awareness Month! 😀