Time Is Key When Dealing With A Stroke

May 10, 2016

Credit American Heart Association

This is American Stroke Month.  It's a good time to review the signs of a stroke, signs that many people may not recognize.

Face drooping. Arm weakness, Speech difficulty. Time to call 9-1-1.

The acronym, FAST, was created to identify symptoms and urge quick action.  Time is key when dealing with stroke victims.

"A stroke is when there is a decreased blood flow to a part of your brain," says Paula Harwood, an R.N. at Memorial Medical Center.  "If the brain doesn't get blood supply for a significant period of time, there will start to be damage."

Nearly 2 million brain cells die for each minute a stroke goes untreated. The faster a patient is treated, the more likely he or she will recover without permanent disability.  

"There are huge advances now, things we can do to stop that stroke in the process," Harwood said.

The American Heart Association has raised awareness of strokes.  And it raises money.  The Heart and Stroke Walk in Springfield is Saturday May 14 in Lincoln Park.  

"It's an opportunity for heart and stroke survivors to come out with their friends and family. They celebrate the new lifestyle they have," said the Heart Association's Carrie Skogsberg.  

It's a big fundraiser and you can also get involved by checking out the website.

'We are the largest funding source for resource outside of the federal government," Skogsberg added.