Stroke Month: Week 1
B.E. F.A.S.T – Know the Warning Signs of Stroke
In honor of National Stroke Awareness Month, CNS is offering a variety of resources and information throughout May to help build awareness about preventing and treating stroke. This week, we are sharing stroke warning signs and emphasizing the importance of knowing them to enable a quick response – which can potentially save a life, reduce damage to the brain and prevent long-term disability.
The commonly publicized B.E. F.A.S.T. mnemonic (Balance, Eyes, Face, Arm, Speech and Time), adopted by the American Heart Association, is helpful in remembering important stroke warning signs to recognize and identify:
B – Balance: Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
E – Eyes: Sudden change in vision in one or both eyes.
F – Face Drooping: The sudden drooping of one side of the person’s face.
A – Arm Weakness: Sudden numbness or weakness of the arms.
S – Speech: Slurred speech, confusion or trouble understanding.
T – Time to Call 911: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of severe disability.
Additionally, Dr. Brent Masel, CNS’ Executive Vice-President for Medical Affairs and a Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, say that strokes in the young adult population are on the rise.
“We are now seeing an increased prevalence of traditional cardiovascular risk factors in adults aged 18 to 64. The prevalence of three or more conventional risk factors such as hypertension, elevated cholesterol, tobacco use, and obesity has nearly doubled in young adults, when compared to older populations,” said Dr. Masel.
The good news is that stroke is preventable and treatable. According to the CDC, you can help reduce your risk by:
- Being physically active every day.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Eating more fruits and vegetables and foods low in sodium and salt.
- Avoiding smoking.
- Preventing/managing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
As well, the American Heart Association reminds us that the faster stroke is treated, the more likely the person is to recover. CNS encourages everyone to learn the warning signs of stroke and ensure their ability to take action to reduce their risk.
CNS has been a national leader in treating stroke for 40 years, click here to learn more about stroke and our stroke treatment program.