May is stroke awareness month. Do you know your risk? Could you spot a stroke if you or someone around you was showing symptoms?
A study conducted a few years ago showed that only 55.4% of people in Minnesota reported they knew what signs of a stroke were. I bet you’re thinking, “That’s not bad, it’s over half the state. ” However Minnesota has a population of 5.6 million, which means there are still 2.8 million people who would not be able to identify if they or someone around them were having a stroke.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States; the sixth leading cause of death in the state of Minnesota, and is the #1 reason for disability in the United States! Stroke claimed the lives of close to 2,200 Minnesotans in 2016.
Good news though! Strokes can be prevented and there are possible treatment options available when you seek immediate care when you notice symptoms. How can you remember what these signs are? Tell yourself to BEFAST 😊
B=Balance — a sudden change in your balance or sudden onset of dizziness
E=Eyes — a sudden change in your vision; blurry, fuzzy, double, unable to see from one eye
F=Face —facial weakness
A=Arms — arm or leg weakness, numbness, tingling
S=Speech — speech difficulties
T=Time to call 9-1-1; Time loss is brain loss. Seek immediate medical evaluation
Stroke is the leading preventable cause of disability. Know your risk and act on those risk factors that are in your control. Listed below are risk factors for stroke. The first that are listed are considered “non-modifiable” risk factors as these are out of your control.
If you said yes to 2 or more, consider talking with your health care provider to determine what you can do to lower your risk for a stroke.
Take action and BEFAST to reduce your risk of having a stroke!
To share with Spanish-speaking friends, visit https://www.strokeassociation.org/en/professionals/stroke-resource-library/stroke-resources-in-spanish.
American Stroke Association. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.strokeassociation.org/en/about-stroke
Every Second Counts. Best practices to improve coordinated stroke care for Emergency Medical Service Professionals. MM Department of Health. (2018)
Stroke in Minnesota. MN Department of Health. (May 15, 2019) Retrieved from https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/cardiovascular/data/stroke.html