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When it comes to stroke, BE FAST

In the state of Wyoming, stroke is the fifth highest cause of death, and the fourth largest killer in the United States. Strokes are not only a leading cause of death, but also of adult disability.

However, knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke is essential and can save a life. Thanks to the quick thinking and instincts of a co-worker, my mother is alive today after a stroke she experienced this fall.

During Stroke Awareness Month in May, it's important to me for everyone to know the signs of stroke, and BE FAST:

  • B – BALANCE: Is the person suffering from a sudden loss of balance or coordination?
  • E – EYES: Do they have sudden double vision, or loss of vision in one or both eyes?
  • F – FACE: Is one side of their face drooping?
  • A – ARMS: Can they keep their arms up, or does one arm drift down?
  • S – SPEECH: Do they suddenly have difficulty speaking or is their speech slurred or strange?
  • T – TIME: If they have any one of these signs, it's time to call 9-1-1 immediately.

Doctors will tell you 32,000 brain cells die every second when you're having a stroke—so, seconds do count. In the medical community, we often use the phrase, "time is brain" when talking about the importance of speedy treatment for strokes. According to the National Stroke Association, here's why:

  • 10% of stroke survivors recover almost completely
  • 25% recover with minor impairments
  • 40% experience moderate to severe impairments requiring special care
  • 10% require care in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
  • 15% die shortly after experiencing a stroke

As you can see, with swift and appropriate treatment, stroke victims recover quickly!

Reminder: If you think you or someone else is having a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately and note the time when symptoms first appeared. It is important that you do not drive yourself or wait for a ride from a friend or family member. Have an ambulance take you to the hospital.

Have Questions?
Campbell County Health's Wellness Services works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. To learn more about Wellness, please visit www.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307-688-8051.

This blog was written by Rachel Wilde CPT, MA, CCH Wellness Services Technician and Phlebotomist