If you or a loved one were having a stroke, would you recognize what was happening?
According to the American Heart Association, stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States, affecting nearly 800,000 people a year and killing nearly 130,000. When a stroke happens, time is of the essence. This means people need to be able to recognize the warning signs and take action. According to the Centers for Disease Control:
Patients who arrive at the emergency room within 3 hours of their first symptoms often have less disability 3 months after a stroke than those who received delayed care.
May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association are helping people recognize and remember stroke warning signs with this easy acronym: F.A.S.T. (watch their video here).
F.A.S.T. stands for:
A person does not have to be experiencing all these symptoms to be having a stroke. Any one symptom is enough to call 911 immediately. The faster treatment can be started, the better.
The good news is that many strokes are preventable with medical screening and healthy lifestyle choices. But when you see any of these stroke warning signs, remember that minutes count. Know the signs and act F.A.S.T.!
The neurosurgeons here at Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital have many decades of experience treating patients with strokes and stroke-related disorders. Through the years, they have saved many lives and are proud to be a part of an institution with advanced certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center.
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