May Is American Stroke Awareness Month

Most people would like to think that they would know how to react in an emergency. But what if you didn’t realize that an emergency was happening?

Even though stroke is our country’s leading cause of long term disability and No. 4 killer, many people don’t recognize a stroke. That’s why during May, American Stroke Awareness Month, the American Stroke Association is urging everyone to learn FAST–an easy acronym that can help determine if you, or someone around you, is suffering a stroke.

FAST stands for F-Face Drooping, A-Arm Weakness, S-Speech Difficulty, T-Time to Call 9-1-1.

As a stroke nurse practitioner, I know how important it is to seek medical attention when a stroke occurs as soon as possible. I’ve seen too many patients have lasting, damaging effects from a stroke because they waited to seek help.

Stroke doesn’t have to mean death. It doesn’t have to mean disability. But stroke does mean that you need help. If you or someone around you starts to show signs of a stroke, the most important thing you can do is call 9-1-1 immediately. Stroke is preventable, treatable and beatable!

Angela N. McCall-Brown, MSN, APN-C, RN
American Stroke Association Volunteer
Stroke Nurse Practitioner, Overlook Medical Center-Neuroscience Center

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