PMH HealthBeat

Time is critical in event of a stroke

Pocahontas Memorial Hospital is launching a stroke awareness education initiative to help our 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 US has a stroke, and roughly every four minutes someone dies from a stroke,” said Kyna Moore, Chief Nursing Officer at PMH.

The earlier a stroke is recognized and the patient receives medical attention, the greater chance of recovery.

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.

“If you suspect a stroke, remember the word FAST,” Moore said. “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 imperative.”

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.

Leading a healthy lifestyle, including lowering risk factors like high blood pressure and weight, can help reduce your risk of stroke.

For more information about stroke, visit www.strokeawareness.com.

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