As a reminder from UH Occupational Health Services, the month of May is Stroke Awareness Month. Please take a moment to review this important information in order to quickly identify the signs of a stroke and when to call 9-1-1.
Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.
Use the letters in "F.A.S.T." to spot stroke signs and know when to call 9-1-1.
- FACE DROOPING
Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
- 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, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "the sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
- TIME TO CALL 9-1-1
If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.
According to the American Heart Association, blood pressure is the primary controllable risk factors for stroke. Keeping your blood pressure in a normal range (under 120/80) is crucial to reducing the risk. For more information, please visit American Stroke Association.