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National Stroke Awareness Month: Know the signs and think F.A.S.T

Every 45 seconds, someone in America will have a stroke. Immediate, individualized care is the key to maximum recovery.

Reacting quickly and receiving immediate treatment can mean the difference in a life-altering diagnosis. The Stroke Center at Baptist Hospital, a member of Saint Thomas Health, has a team specially trained in the treatment of neurological disorders available 24/7 to deliver a multidisciplinary approach specifically tailored to each patient.

Symptoms of stroke:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden onset of confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, or slurred speech
  • Sudden vision trouble or double vision
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause 

If you or someone you know has one or more of these symptoms, call 911 right away – don’t wait for symptoms to stop; even if they do, there may be a serious medical problem. 

Stroke is an emergency and every minute counts. Think F.A.S.T. to help someone who may be suffering: 

FACE --  Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

ARM    -- Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

SPEECH -- Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

TIME --  If you observe any of these signs, call 911 and get to the nearest hospital immediately. 

Clinical advances can now help you survive a stroke like never before, but stroke prevention is still the best medicine.  The most treatable conditions linked to stroke are: 

  • High blood pressure. Eat a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight and exercise to reduce blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol. Eat a healthy diet and talk to your doctor about any necessary medical treatment to help reduce high cholesterol.
  • Cigarette smoking. Quit. Medical help is available to help you stop smoking.
  • Heart disease. Your doctor can treat your heart disease and may prescribe medication to help prevent clot formation.
  • Diabetes. Treatment can delay complications that increase the risk of stroke.
For more information about stroke treatment across Saint Thomas Health's family of hospitals, please visit www.sths.com.
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