From your health and wellness experts at Prisma Health
May 23, 2018

Stroke – knowing the risks and signs that can save your life

Anil Yallapragada, MD
Did you know we live in the “buckle” of what is known as the “Stroke Belt”? This “Stroke Buckle” region, which includes the coastal plains of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, has a stroke mortality rate that is considerably higher than the rest of the United States.

We urge you to look at your stroke risk factors and pledge to make at least one change to reduce your stroke risk.
  • Hypertension accounts for nearly 48 percent of strokes and is the most important risk factor that you can improve with the right plan of action. The first step to getting hypertension under control is to get your blood pressure checked.
  • You may also reduce your risk of stroke by changing unhealthy behaviors, such as poor diet, physical inactivity and smoking. Smokers are two to four times more likely to suffer a stroke than a nonsmoker or a person who hasn’t smoked in ten years or more.
Also, be aware of the warning signs of stroke. If you see any of these signs, BE FAST!

B = Balance off/dizziness. Ask the person if they are experiencing sudden loss of balance or coordination.

E = Eyes. Ask the person if they have experienced sudden blurred vision or double vision.

F = Face drooping. Ask the person to smile. If the face droops on one side, it could be a sign of stroke.

A = Arm weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms. If they cannot hold one arm up, that is a sign.

S = Speech difficulty. Ask the person to say a few easy words. If their speech is slurred (drunk sounding) or if you can’t understand them, that is a sign.

T = Time to call 9-1-1. Time is very important. The sooner you get to the hospital, the better your chances of getting better.

In addition, a really terrible headache – the worst ever had – could be a sign of a bleed in the brain.

Remember, if any of these signs happen, call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. The ambulance team will call the hospital and tell them your signs. The stroke team will be ready to care for you when you arrive. 

Committed to stroke care

Expert physicians and advanced technology have earned the Stroke Center at Palmetto Health accreditation as an Advanced Certification Primary Stroke Center from The Joint Commission.

Knowing seconds are critical when it comes to a stroke, our team is on-site 24/7. We are a multidisciplinary program of care for patients throughout the hospital, from the Emergency Department to the Stroke Unit, and we incorporate state-of-the-art approaches to caring for those patients affected by stroke.

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