LACONIA — May is National Stroke Awareness Month. LRGHealthcare wants to make our community aware that by thinking F.A.S.T. you can help save lives and improve recovery. These simple letters can help you recognize the signs of stroke and get help right away.
F- Face- Look for an uneven smile
A- Arm- Check if one arm is weak
S- Speech- Listen for slurred speech
T- Time- Call 911 right away
"Time is crucial in the treatment of stroke, as on average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke and roughly every four minutes someone dies from a stroke," said Sally Minkow, Director of Education Services at LRGHealthcare. "The earlier a stroke is recognized and the patient receives medical attention, the greater chance of recovery."
Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. When this occurs, part of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, destroying millions of valuable nerve cells within minutes.
Other stroke symptoms include the sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech, sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, sudden trouble walking, and dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, and sudden severe headache with no known cause.
Stroke is a leading cause of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. According to the American Stroke Association, approximately 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke each year. The resulting damage from a stroke can lead to significant disability including paralysis, speech problems and emotional difficulties. Treatment may be available if you get to the emergency room immediately upon recognition of stroke symptoms. Leading a healthy lifestyle, including lowering risk factors like high blood pressure and weight, can also help reduce your stroke risk.