To mark May as National Stroke Awareness Month, Carson Tahoe Health is offering free events designed to educate about recognizing the signs and symptoms of stroke, identifying potential risk factors, and understanding the importance of seeking immediate medical care should the need arise.
Stroke education and prevention workshops will be at noon on May 12 at the Carson City Senior Center; and another will be during a stroke support group’s monthly meeting at 4:30 p.m. May 14 at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center.
Every 40 seconds someone in the United States suffers from a stroke, making it the fourth leading cause of death and the number one cause of adult disability in the country.
Fortunately, recent studies indicate more than 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by keeping a healthy lifestyle — controlling high blood pressure; not smoking; eating a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet; being physically active; maintaining a healthy body weight; and managing diabetes. Additionally, 30 percent of strokes can be reversed if treated immediately by a stroke care team.
While stroke symptoms vary, they can come on quickly and include: Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially if on one side of the body; confusion or trouble speaking or understanding; difficulty with vision, either in one eye or both; trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination; and severe headache.
“Time is of the essence when treating a stroke and every second counts,” said Shawn Binn, a speech pathologist with Carson Tahoe Health. “The faster you are diagnosed and treated for a stroke, the better the chances of an improved outcome.”
Using the F.A.S.T. test can help recognize and respond to the signs of stroke —
Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
Time: If you observe any of these signs (independently or together), immediately call 9-1-1.
For more information about Carson Tahoe Health Stroke Awareness, go to http://carsontahoe.com/stroke-awareness-support.