Your Health Matters

May Topic: American Stroke Month
 American Stroke Month

•    May is American Stroke Month and we’re asking everyone to learn how to spot a stroke F.A.S.T., because anyone can have a stroke and everyone should be ready.
•    Everyone needs to learn the stroke warning signs, because the person having a stroke isn’t always able to recognize it or call 9-1-1. That’s when they need you to be their hero.
•    Only 8 percent of us can identify each letter in the F.A.S.T. acronym. That means most people may not be able to recognize a stroke and stroke patients may not get the help they need in time to have a positive outcome.
 F.A.S.T. is:
  •  F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T - Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.
•    Calling 9-1-1 at the first sign of stroke gives someone a greater chance of getting to an appropriate hospital quickly and being assessed for treatment options like a clot-busting drug and medical devices that may make a remarkable difference in their recovery.
Call to Action 
•    Join other stroke heroes who have the free “Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T.” app at
•    Do you know F.A.S.T.? Take the quiz at 

A Few Facts
•    Every 40 seconds, someone in America has a stroke. On average, every four minutes, an American dies from stroke.
•    Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the U.S. and the No. 2 killer worldwide.
•    Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability and the No. 1 preventable cause of long-term disability.
•    African-Americans have nearly twice the risk for a first-ever stroke than white people and often have strokes at a younger age.
•    About 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke every year, with about three in four being first-time strokes. 
•    An estimated 6.6 million Americans 20 and older have had a stroke. 1
•    Controlling high blood pressure is the No. 1 way to prevent stroke.