May is National Stroke Awareness Month

May 05, 2014 College News - Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death and leading cause of disability in the U.S., but many Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 38 percent of people correctly identified all five symptoms of stroke and knew to call 911 if they thought someone was having a stroke.

Do you know how to avoid a stroke, how to recognize when it happens, and what to do? You should, because patients who arrive at the emergency room within three hours of showing their first symptoms tend to be healthier three months after a stroke than those whose care was delayed.

The American Stroke Association provides a Stroke Risk Quiz.

They also recommend using the acronym "FAST" to uncover a symptom of and respond to a stroke.

F=Face-ask the person to smile. If one side of the face appears crooked or drooping this person may be having a stroke

A=Arms-ask the person to lift both of his or her arms in the air--if he or she has difficulty with one arm this too might be a sign that this person is having a stroke

S=Speech-ask the person to speak. If his or her words are slurred or they are unable to speak, they might be having a stroke

T=T is for time. If any of the above symptoms are present you must call 911 immediately in order to make sure that this person reaches the hospital FAST.

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Page Updated 05/05/2014