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National Stroke Awareness Month

Taylor Miranda


Top Los Angeles Nursing School

May is not only Hepatitis Awareness Month, it's also National Stroke Awareness Month! 
Do you know the signs of a stroke? Can you remember F.A.S.T.? 
Read on and learn more about the fifth leading cause of death in the US...

1. Fast Facts 

  • Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the US.
  • Stroke is also the leading cause of disability in the US.
  • There are two forms of stroke: ischemic - blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain, and hemorrhagic - bleeding into or around the brain.
  • About 25 percent of people who recover from their first stroke will have another stroke within 5 years.

2. F.A.S.T.

Do you know the four signs of a stroke? Start memorizing these, and you might save a life one day! 

  • F: Face drooping 
    • Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
  • A: Arm weakness 
    • Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S: 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." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T: Time to call 9-1-1
    • If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.

3. Prevention & Treatment 

There are essentially 3 treatment stages for stroke: prevention, therapy after the stroke, and post-stroke rehabilitation.

  • Therapies to avoid a first or recurrent stroke rely on treating a person's underlying risk factors for stroke, including hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and diabetes.
  • Acute stroke therapies attempt to stop a stroke while it happens by quickly dissolving the blood clot causing an ischemic stroke, or by stopping the bleeding of a hemorrhagic stroke.
  • Post-stroke rehabilitation helps individuals overcome disabilities tied to stroke damage.

4. Life After A Stroke

While stroke is a disease of the brain, its effects can be felt throughout the body. A common disability stemming from stroke is complete paralysis on one side of the body, called hemiplegia. A related disability that is not as debilitating as paralysis is one-sided weakness or hemiparesis.

Stroke survivors often display the following symptoms: 

  • Problems understanding or forming speech
  • Difficulty controlling their emotions or may express inappropriate emotions
  • Depression and/or other emotional problems
  • Numbness or strange sensations
  • Pain is often worse in the hands and feet, made worse by movement and temperature changes, especially cold temperatures 

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Stroke Association: American Stroke Month

Stroke.org: Stroke Awareness Resource Center

Center of Disease Control (CDC): Stroke Awareness Month

National Stroke Association: Stroke Facts

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS): Stroke Information Page 


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