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Posted on: May 3, 2023

A Message from the Fire Chief: May is National Stroke Awareness Month

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Strokes can happen to anyone, at any age. Recognizing the warning signs and calling 911 immediately can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. When this happens, the part of the brain cut off by the clot or rupture does not receive the blood and oxygen needed, and brains cells begin to die. Recent medical advances have vastly improved stroke treatments and survival rates over the last decade. According to the American Stroke Association (a division of the American Heart Association), stroke remains the number 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. 

Remember the acronym F.A.S.T. to spot warning signs of a stroke:

  • Face drooping
    • Does one side of the face droop, or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is their smile even?
  • Arm weakness
    • Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech difficulty
    • Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask them to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.”
  • Time to call 911
    • If you have any of these symptoms or see someone else having them, call 911 immediately!

Other stroke symptoms – watch for sudden:

  • Numbness or weakness on one side of the body.
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech.
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Severe headache with no known cause

 Visit the American Stroke Association website for more information and resources. 

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