According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 800,000 Americans will suffer a stroke each year. And of those, more than 600,000 will be first-time stroke sufferers.
If you believe you or someone you know is having a stroke, it’s important to B.E.F.A.S.T. in addressing the individual’s condition.
- Balance. Is there a sudden loss of balance or coordination?
- Eyes. Is the person having a sudden change in vision or trouble seeing?
- Face is drooping. Typically during a stroke, one side of a person’s face will begin to fall or appear paralyzed.
- Arm weakness. It’s common for one arm to be more difficult to raise than the other.
- Speech difficulty. Is the person’s speech slurred or slow?
- Time to call 911. If you notice or experience even one of the above symptoms, it’s important to contact 911 right away.
The B.E.F.A.S.T. acronym serves as a good baseline of information to remember. However, recently the American Heart Association released a list of additional symptoms everyone should be aware of:
- Very sudden confusion or disorientation.
- Difficulty seeing out of one or both eyes.
- Trouble walking (often due to a numb or weak leg).
- Complications with coordination, like not being able to grab a cup or utensil.
- A sudden and severe headache in a person with no history of headaches.
When a Stroke Strikes, Time is of the Essence
When stroke victims are brought to the hospital within three hours of their initial symptoms, they often have fewer disabilities three months later than someone who was brought in several hours or even days after a stroke.
Risk Factors for Strokes
Many of the leading risk factors for a stroke have to do with lifestyle choices, meaning you have the power to lower your risk of a stroke substantially. Today, the leading causes of a stroke are:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Smoking or tobacco use
Whether you recently suffered a stroke or are undergoing rehab following a stroke, the Methodist Hospital Team is committed to delivering quality care according to nationally-recognized clinical care process improvement guidelines.
For more information on our Stroke Program, contact our team directly at 626-898-8861.