- By Laurel Kelly
Consumer Health: Do you know the warning signs of stroke?
May is National Stroke Awareness Month, which makes this a good time to learn about the warning signs of stroke and the need for prompt treatment.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. and a major cause of serious disability for adults. More than 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stroke risk increases with age, especially after 55, but strokes can occur at any age.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells begin to die in minutes.
A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is crucial. Early action can reduce brain damage and other complications. If you or someone you know is experiencing a stroke, you should call 911 and seek emergency medical care right away.
To recognize the signs of stroke, remember the acronym FAST:
Does the face droop on one side when the person tries to smile?
Is one arm lower when the person tries to raise both arms?
Can the person repeat a simple sentence? Is speech slurred or hard to understand?
During a stroke, every minute counts. If you observe any of these signs, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (0:59) is in the downloads at the end of the post.
Please "Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.