You don’t need superpowers to be a hero when it comes to stroke, you just need to pay attention to the risk factors and know the warning signs.
“Stroke is largely preventable and treatable,” said Mary Ann Bauman, M.D., chair of the American Stroke Association Advisory Committee. “The best way to beat a stroke is to never have one, about 80 percent of strokes are preventable. The second best way to beat a stroke is to identify one immediately when it occurs and call 911.”
For American Stroke Month this May, the American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative, nationally sponsored by Medtronic, offers five things everyone should know to be a Stroke Hero.
- Anyone can have a stroke. Stroke is more common in older people, but young adults, teens, children and even babies can be victims.
- High blood pressure is public enemy #1 for stroke. Three out of four people who have a first stroke report blood pressure higher than 140/90 mm Hg, making blood pressure the most important controllable risk factor for stroke.
- Stroke targets by color. While stroke is a leading cause of death for all Americans, African-Americans are nearly twice as likely to have a stroke compared to whites, and more likely to have it at a younger age.
- Stroke is largely treatable Clot-busting drugs and medical devices like stent retrievers have made stroke largely treatable, but most patients need to get to an appropriate hospital to be evaluated and treated within 3 to 4.5 hours of the first symptom.
- Friends usually save friends from stroke. Two out of three times, it’s a bystander making the decision to call 911 or seek treatment on behalf of someone suffering a stroke. To remember the most common stroke warning signs and what action to take, learn the acronym F.A.S.T. If you see F-Face drooping, A-Arm weakness or S-Speech difficulty, it’s T-Time to call 911.
“Like the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, Medtronic is committed to improving the lives of stroke patients,” said Brett Wall, president, Brain Therapies, Medtronic. “Over the past three years, Together to End Stroke has helped boost stroke warning sign recognition, which leads to more people getting to treatment in time.”
“The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke, the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability,” said Rebecca Buerkle, Communications Director SouthWest Affiliate. “We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke.”
To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org.