National Stroke Month: Do you know the signs?

May is National Stroke Month, and it’s more important now than ever to make sure you know the signs of a stroke and how to respond to save a life.

In order to truly know the signs of a stroke, it’s important to understand what exactly a stroke is. According to the American Stroke Association, a stroke occurs when oxygen is cut off to the brain due to a blood vessel clotting or bursting. As a result, the brain doesn’t receive the oxygen and nutrients it needs, and brain cells begin to die.

Signs of a Stroke: 

Educating yourself about strokes is the first step in saving a life. By being knowledgeable, you’ll be better able to spot the signs of a stroke and help reduce the risk of life-threatening consequences. 

When looking at the signs of a stroke, it’s important to know that while all symptoms are sudden, one side of the body is often more affected than the other. The CDC walks through the symptoms of a stroke in men and women: 

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness in the face or limbs, especially on one side of the body. 
  2. Unprecedented confusion, trouble speaking, difficulty understanding speech or slurred words. 
  3. Trouble seeing in one or both eyes. 
  4. Difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or lack of coordination. 
  5. Sudden severe headaches without a known cause. 

If you or someone around you is experiencing any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Do not drive or have someone drive you to the ER. Every minute counts, and it’s important to seek medical help as soon as possible. Try to remember when the symptoms first started, so you can tell your doctor. 

[Did you know that NorthCrest Medical Center is recognized by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center and Chest Pain Certified? Visit Our Emergency Department Website to learn more.] 

Act F.A.S.T.: 

If you’re unsure that you or someone you know may be experiencing a stroke, look for these signs: 

Face – Smile. Does one side appear uneven or lopsided? 

Arms – Raise your arms. Is one weak or numb? Does one drift downward? 

Speech – Repeat a simple phrase. Is it slurred? Can you understand the speaker? 

Time – Call 911 immediately if someone is experiencing these symptoms. 

By understanding the signs of a stroke and how to respond when you or someone you know is experiencing one, you can help them get the treatment they need quickly. 

Your health is our priority. Contact NorthCrest Health to schedule a primary care appointment with one of our professionals.