More than 140,000 people die each year from a stroke in the United States and it is the third leading cause of death according to The Internet Stroke Center. In addition they report that approximately 795,000 people suffer from a stroke each year, which means on average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke. Strokes are also the leading cause of serious, long-term disabilities and a stroke can take up to two years or more to recover from. Statistically almost three-quarters of all strokes are in people over the age of 65.
The National Stroke Association recommends that “FAST” is a simple way to remember and identify the most common symptoms of a stroke. By having the information you need to quickly identify the signs of a stroke and calling 9-1-1 for help, you can improve a person’s chances for a better recovery. They also advise that you note the time you first noticed the symptoms as this can determine the course of treatment.
To identify the warning signs of a stroke using FAST includes:
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 phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
The experts at the WebMD website advise that if a loved one has suffered from a stroke, you should take the time to educate yourself on their condition and prognosis. One way to do this is to take advantage of hospital run programs to learn as much as you can about strokes and the rehabilitation process. Also they caution that you should check with your insurance and Medicare coverage to find out what expenses are covered and what your responsibilities will be.
This post is for informational purposes only, please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns
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