Today is World Stroke Day; make sure you know the warning signs

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Posted at 6:31 AM, Oct 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-29 07:31:52-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Did you know that anyone can have a stroke, regardless of age or fitness level?

Friday, October 29, is World Stroke Day. Annie Thornhill, the Executive Director at the Middle Tennessee AHA Chapter says strokes are most treatable right after they happen. She commented that delaying getting help, often means people can’t get treatment in time and are more likely to be disabled or die from their stroke.

“Stroke is the number five cause of death in Middle Tennessee, and even if you have a stroke and survive, it could affect you and your ability to thrive and live your best days," said Thornhill.

The American Stroke Association encourages people to learn the acronym F.A.S.T. to help them remember the warning signs for stroke. F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
  • Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like "The sky is blue."
  • Time to Call 911 - If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911and get to a hospital immediately. Check the time so you can tell emergency responders when the first symptoms appeared.

Research shows that while most people say they would call 911 in a stroke emergency, real-world data shows that up to 75% of those experiencing a stroke first called friends or family, according to the American Heart Association’s division of the American Stroke Association.

Every year, 800,000 people in the U.S. suffer a stroke. Many are preventable and managing blood pressure — the leading cause of strokes — is a big step in the right direction.