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Apr 25

Stroke Risk — Know Yours!

May is National Stroke Awareness Month.  Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures.  When this occurs, part of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, destroying millions of valuable nerve cells within minutes.

On average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke and roughly every four minutes someone dies from a stroke.  Time is crucial in the treatment of stroke.  The earlier a stroke is recognized and the patient receives medical attention, the greater chance of recovery.

The primary stroke symptoms include:

  •  Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the face or facial drooping
  •  Sudden numbness or weakness in an arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  •  Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  •  Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  •  Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  •  Sudden severe headache with no known cause

If you suspect a stroke, remember the word F-A-S-T:

F is for “face” – is your face drooping?

A is for “arms” – can you lift both arms?

S is for “speech” – are you slurring your words

T is for “time” – call 9-1-1 immediately

Treatment may be available if you get to the emergency room immediately upon recognition of stroke symptoms.  Leading a healthy lifestyle, including lowering risk factors like high blood pressure and weight, can also help reduce your stroke risk.  For more information about stroke, visit and

Click on this link to go to a Stroke Risk Scorecard and tally YOUR risk of stroke.  Stroke Risk Scorecard