Imagine sitting on your couch one day and suddenly realizing you aren’t able to move your arm or leg and you’re unable to speak. This is exactly what could happen during a stroke. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the leading cause of severe, long-term disability.
“It is very important that you know how to identify the signs of stroke and learn how to reduce your risk for having one.”
– Alyana Samai, Stroke Program Coordinator at West Jefferson Medical Center
To identify the signs and symptoms of stroke, remember: BE FAST.
B – Balance and coordination. Sudden onset of dizziness or problems with balance or coordination.
E – Eyesight. Sudden onset of vision problems such as blurry vision, double vision, or loss of vision.
F – Face. Drooping of one side of the mouth or numbness/tingling on one side of the face/mouth.
A – Arms (or legs). Sudden inability to move arm and/or leg, usually on one side of the body, or numbness/tingling in arm and/or leg.
S – Speech. Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding what others are saying.
T – TIME TO CALL 9-1-1! Stroke is an EMERGENCY! If you notice any of these symptoms or experience a sudden, severe headache (with no known cause), you could be having a stroke. Every minute during a stroke you loose nearly 2 million brain cells – TIME IS BRAIN. Available treatments for certain types of stroke can only be given during the first few hours of your symptoms starting, so getting to the hospital fast is extremely important. Call 9-1-1 to get to the nearest hospital as quickly and safely as possible. Remember: Don’t drive, SURVIVE!
To help reduce your risk of having a stroke, it is important to control your risk factors. Some risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, and obesity. Be sure to see your doctor regularly to find out what risk factors you may have and how to manage them.
Stroke can be scary and life-altering, but it is important to live prepared, NOT scared! Managing your risk factors and knowing what to do if you or your loved one is having a stroke could help save your life or theirs!
About Alyana Samai
Alyana Samai is the Stroke Program Coordinator in the Neurosciences Department at West Jefferson Medical Center. Originally from Coral Springs, FL, she earned a Bachelor of Health Science with a concentration in Public Health and minor in English from the University of Florida. She earned a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from Tulane University. She has been active in the areas of public health and clinical stroke research and has published several original articles based on her research, which predominantly focused on hypercoagulability and stroke.