By Jennifer Read
May is Stroke Awareness Month, which gives us an opportunity to shine a spotlight on one of the leading causes of death and disability in South Carolina. In 2012, 2,331 people died from stroke in our state, and more than 9,000 individuals were treated for a stroke in South Carolina hospitals.
The good news is that strokes can be prevented by understanding and controlling risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tobacco use, diabetes, and obesity.
Receiving immediate medical attention is critical to improving outcomes for stroke patients. If you think someone may be having a stroke, remember to think FAST:
- Face drooping – one side of the face droops or goes numb
- Arm weakness – one arm goes weak or is numb
- Speech difficulty – speech may be slurred or the person is unable to speak or hard to understand
- Time to call 9-1-1 – call EMS right away if you see these symptoms in someone, even if symptoms go away; check the time so you know when the symptoms first began
For more resources on stroke, visit the American Stroke Association.