Stroke: Time is of the Essence
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a major cause
of long-term disability. It occurs when the blood supply to the brain
is reduced or interrupted, which deprives the brain of oxygen. Strokes
can be debilitating and are often fatal. That’s why it’s so
important to act fast if you suspect someone is having a stroke.
Patients who have suffered a stroke report a variety of symptoms, including:
- Sudden loss of balance
- Severe headache
- Slurred speech
- Paralysis of the face, arm or leg
- Dizziness and changes in vision
Every minute counts when an individual suffers a stroke. Immediate medical
treatment can minimize the damage, so get help immediately.*
You can reduce your risk of stroke by living a healthy lifestyle and getting
regular checkups with your physician. Eat a healthy diet, get regular
exercise, don’t smoke, limit your alcohol intake, and control your
cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Most importantly, talk to your
doctor if you have a family history of stroke or cardiovascular disease.
*Baton Rouge General promotes the Code FAST procedure for responding to
and recognizing stroke. It’s easy to remember and can save lives:
F: Face - Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A: Arms - Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S: Speech - Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech
sound slurred or strange?
T: Time - If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.