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American Stroke Awareness Month

Did you know that 1 out of every 6 people will suffer from a stroke at some point during his or her lifetime? This is the type of awareness that needs to be raised during the month of May. Because May is American Stroke Awareness month, it will be dedicated to spreading knowledge of strokes to individuals in an effort to decrease their occurrences. Many Americans do not consider a stroke as a major health concern. As such, most don’t know the warning signs or what to do if they suffer from one. This can result in permanent damage and even death when it happens. By increasing knowledge about strokes, we can lessen the damage.

A stroke is a medical condition in which blood flow to a portion of the brain is blocked. Without the oxygen that is carried through this blood flow, the brain begins to suffer. Cells begin to die, resulting in a stroke. Because the brain controls the rest of the body, if cell damage occurs, symptoms begin to manifest themselves in other areas of the body. For example, paralysis, slurred speech, and trouble with eyesight are all common symptoms of a stroke.

Strokes are the #5 cause of death in the United States and the #1 cause of disability. Because of its deadly nature, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you or someone around you know is suffering from a stroke. Time is of the essence. While some of the brain damage sustained during a stroke can leave the sufferer with permanent loss of mobility or function, much can be recovered depending on how intense the stroke was.

Because every 40 seconds someone has a stroke, it’s important to become educated on the subject of strokes. The best way to spot stroke signs is to remember the acronym F.A.S.T. This can help to identify stroke victims and symptoms.

  • The ‘F’ stands for ‘face drooping,’ which can occur in both or 1 side of the face. It can happen gradually or instantly depending on the severity of the stroke.
  • The ‘A’ stands for ‘arm weakness.’ If you notice that your arm is unable to perform normal activities, or if it feels tired, it might signal that a stroke is happening.
  • The ‘S’ stands for ‘speech difficulty.’ If slurred speech or difficulty forming or remembering words is happening, it is a definite sign of a stroke.
  • The ‘T’ stands for its ‘time to call 911.’ If any or all of these symptoms are present, it’s time to make an emergency phone call. The moments between when a stroke begins and when the sufferer receives help can be the difference between life and death.

Because of the severity of the consequences of a stroke, it’s important to do everything possible to prevent them and stay healthy. Our Kansas City professionals can help you take the time to understand and remember the signs of a stroke, especially during the American Stroke Awareness month, and what to do if you or someone you know begins to exhibit the signs. Then, spread the word! Educate your friends and family on the F.A.S.T. acronym. The more people that understand how to help during a stroke, the more success there will be nationwide!

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