May is American Stroke Month and the American Stroke Association wants you to know that 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.
Here are five things to remember:
Anyone can have a stroke (even superheroes) — Some stroke patients don’t “look the part” and they may not have traditional stroke risk factors like high blood pressure. Stroke is more common in older people, but young adults, teens, children, babies and even the unborn can be victims.
High blood pressure is the top risk factor — 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 — African-Americans are twice as likely to have a stroke compared to whites, and are more likely to have a stroke 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 three to four and a half hours of the first symptom. With nearly two million brain cells dying every minute during a stroke, there’s no time to phone a friend, take a nap, or wait until Uber stops surging. Calling 911 is the best call for stroke.
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 F.A.S.T. If you see:
A-Arm weakness, or
It’s T-Time to call 9-1-1.