PERTH AMBOY–As part of Raritan Bay Medical Center’s (RBMC) community outreach effort in conjunction with the American Heart Association’s National Go Red for Women campaign, the medical center is providing free blood pressure screenings and stroke information to the public on National Go Red day Friday, Feb. 3, at eight local YMCAs and select area banks and grocery stores, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.
“Too many women die or become disabled each year from stroke and heart disease, the number three and number one killers of women,” said registered nurse Mirian Medina, coordinator of RBMC’s stroke center, “As proud supporters of the National Go Red for Women movement, we want to spread the word to women about living heart healthy and getting regular heart screenings.”
The events will be held at local YMCAs; Raritan Bay Area (in Perth Amboy), Sayreville, Old Bridge, Woodbridge, South Amboy, Metuchen, East Brunswick and Edison and the Northfield Bank, Vitto Mazza Salon and Wegman’s in Woodbridge and the Medical Pavilion at Woodbridge, 740 Route 1 North in Iselin.
“Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted,” said Medina. “More women than men suffer from stroke. That’s why it’s so crucial for everyone to learn the warning signs of stroke and quickly activate 911. Also keep in mind, if stroke is suspected, note when symptoms begin because the FDA approved medication Tissue Plasminogen Activator (referred to as TpA, a clot busting medication) can only be given three hours from onset of symptoms,” said Medina. These signs include:
- weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg—especially on only one side of the body
- poor balance and/or stumbling
- slurred speech or trouble speaking or understanding others
- severe headache with no apparent cause
- vision problems—such as seeing double, blurred vision, or loss of sight in one or both eyes.
Medina said, “The acronym FAST can be a very helpful reminder of how to identify stroke, so remember these tips:
F is for facial drooping. Your face feels numb or frozen, especially on one side.
A is for arm weakness, especially on one side.
S is for speech problems. You can’t speak or understand properly.
T is for time to call 911; the faster you get treatment, the less damage to your brain.
Phone 911 or have someone call an ambulance for you immediately, even if your symptoms disappear. Also, be aware that women are more likely than men to report unusual stroke symptoms, such as sudden nausea or pain in the face, arm, or leg.”
Raritan Bay Medical Center (RBMC) has a strong commitment to promoting stroke awareness and providing optimal care for stroke patients, evidenced by the medical center’s designation as a New Jersey Primary Stroke Center and its Silver Get with the GuidelinesSM achievement award from the American Heart Association (AHA).
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