Aria Health Urges Community
to be Aware of Stroke Symptoms
During National Stroke Awareness Month
May is National Stroke Awareness month. In order to help the community understand the risk factors and symptoms of stroke, a leading cause of death and serious long-term disability in the United States.
“Time is crucial in the treatment of stroke, as on average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke and roughly every four minutes someone dies from a stroke,1” said Dr. Randy Rosenberg, Chief of the Division of Neurology at Aria Health. “The earlier a stroke is recognized and the patient receives medical attention, the greater chance of recovery.”2
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. 3
“If you suspect a stroke, remember the word FAST – F-A-S-T,” said Mary Walsh, MSN, RN-BC, Coordinator of the Stroke Program at Aria Health. “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 and T is for time, call 9-1-1 immediately because with stroke, time is brain.”
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
Stroke is a leading cause of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States.1 According to the American Stroke Association, approximately 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke each year, and 87 percent of these are ischemic strokes.1 An acute ischemic stroke occurs when an obstruction, such as a blood clot, blocks blood flow to the brain. The obstruction deprives the brain of blood and oxygen, destroying valuable nerve cells in the affected area within minutes. The resulting damage can lead to significant disability including paralysis, speech problems and emotional difficulties.
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 www.strokeawareness.com.
About Aria Health
Aria Health is the largest healthcare provider in Northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County. With three leading-edge community hospitals and a strong network of outpatient centers and primary care physicians, Aria upholds a longstanding tradition of bringing advanced medicine and personal care to the many communities it serves.
For more information call 1-877-808-ARIA (2742) or visit ARIAHEALTH.org.
1 American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2012 Update. Dallas, Texas: American Heart Association; 2011.
2 Early stroke treatment associated with better outcome: the ninds rt-pa stroke study. Neurology. 2011;77;1736
3 Saver J. Time is Brain-Quantified. Stroke 2006;37:263-266.