How to identify the signs of stroke
and why you should always act fast
The sudden onset of stroke symptoms
can happen to anyone at
any time, making education
about the signs and symptoms
of a “brain attack” the first line of defense
to stroke prevention.
“I’m a fanatical fan of football, so
you can imagine how excited I was to
enter the stadium to see my favorite
team play; but I lost my balance and
fell. I’m lucky the people near me
jumped into action and called 911,”
recalled stroke survivor William
Martin. “They are the real heroes in
my medical emergency story; they
knew the signs of a stroke.”
Stroke is the second leading cause
of death and third leading cause of
disability worldwide. Today, only
10% of stroke survivors make a full
recovery and 25 percent recover
with minor impairments.
Forty percent of survivors experience
moderate to severe impairments
that require special care.
Strokes are common and deadly, but
the good news is almost all strokes
can be prevented.
TIMESLEDGER | Q 26 NS.COM | MAY 21-MAY 27, 2021
What is stroke?
A stroke happens when the blood
vessels carrying nutrients to the brain
either form a clot or rupture, causing
a sudden blockage in the arteries leading
to the brain. When that happens,
part of the brain cannot get the blood
(and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain
How to prevent stroke
Generally, there are three treatment
stages for stroke: prevention,
therapy immediately after stroke and
post-stroke rehabilitation. Engaging
in active prevention is the most effective
What can you do to prevent stroke?
1. Monitor your blood pressure
2. Control your cholesterol
3. Keep your blood sugar down
4. Keep active
5. Eat healthy
6. Lose weight if necessary
7. Do not smoke
8. Talk to your physician about aspirin
and other medications
In the event of stroke: Act F.A.S.T
“Every minute from the time the
stroke occurs to when you receive
treatment makes a difference,” said
neurointerventional radiologist at St.
Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City Jared
Halpin, M.D. “Many types of stroke
are now treatable with emergency
medical interventions to either quickly
dissolve or remove the blood clot or
stop the bleeding that is causing symptoms.”
Seek treatment, F.A.S.T. Follow the
acronym below to check for signs of
• FACE drooping: Does one side of
the face droop or is it numb? Ask the
person to smile. Is the person’s smile
uneven or lopsided?
• ARM weakness: Is one arm weak
or numb? Ask the person to raise both
arms. Does one arm drift downward?
• Speech: Is speech slurred? Is the
person unable to speak or hard to understand?
Ask the person to repeat a
• Time to call 9-1-1: If the person
shows any of these symptoms, even if
the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and
get them to the hospital immediately.
“My doctor restored the blood
flow in my brain by threading a tube
through an artery in my leg and used
a medical device called Solitaire X
to remove the clot. I was surprised I
didn’t need brain surgery,” said Martin.
“The best part - I watched the final
quarter of the game on TV while in the
hospital recovery room.”
Eighty million people have survived
stroke worldwide. For more
information on stroke prevention
tips and treatment options, visit the
Medtronic Stroke Heroes page at
— Courtesy of BPT