Sky Lakes Medical Center | Live Smart | Early Spring 2021

6 LIVE smart | Early Spring 2021 If you suspect you or someone else is having a stroke, think B.E.F.A.S.T. Why B.E.F.A.S.T.? Because the word is an acronym for an easy way to remember some of the signs and symptoms of stroke and when to get medical help: LEARN HOW TO RECOGNIZE B E F A S T BALANCE Loss of balance, headache or dizziness EYES Blurred vision FACE One side of the face is drooping ARMS Arm or leg weakness SPEECH Speech difficulty TIME Time to call for an ambulance immediately PREVENTION Keep your blood pressure low Lower your cholesterol Eat healthy food Exercise regularly Treat sleep apnea Manage your diabetes Don’t drink to excess Stop smoking Avoid stress Maintain a healthy weight A stroke is a sudden interruption in the blood supply of the brain. 1 in 6 people will have a stroke in their lifetime. Stroke can happen at any age, but three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65. Don’t delay: Get help for a stroke ▸ Balance or coordination problems or dizziness; ▸ Eye (vision) problems; ▸ Face drooping; ▸ Arm weakness; ▸ Speech difficulty; and ▸ Time to call 911. B.E.F.A.S.T. also reminds you that stroke is an emergency, and you need to get help quickly. Why do you need help quickly? A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, either by a clot or by a ruptured blood vessel. As soon as blood flow is blocked, cells in the brain start to die because they aren’t getting the oxygen and blood they need to survive. Dead brain cells can’t be brought back to life. Damage from the most common type of stroke often can be stopped by a medication called Alteplase IV r-tPA, which can bust open a clot. But the medication must be given within a three-hour window (or up to 4 ½ hours for certain patients). To leave time for evaluation and diagnosis, someone having a stroke must get to a hospital within 60 minutes of when they first started having symptoms. Additional signs and symptoms In addition to the B.E.F.A.S.T. symptoms, other signs of stroke can include: ▸ Sudden severe headache with no known cause; ▸ Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; or ▸ Sudden confusion. If you experience any of these signs or symptoms of a stroke—or spot them in someone else—call 911. Remember: Stroke is a medical emergency. Sources: American Stroke Association; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke AWARD-WINNING CARE The Sky Lakes Emergency Department offers nationally recognized, high-quality care for stroke. We’re here when you need us most. STROKE