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National Stroke Awareness Month

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National Stroke Awareness Month

National Stroke Awareness Month began in May 1989. It was created to promote public awareness and reduce the incidence of stroke in the United States. While many things have changed in the last 32 years for the better around stroke care, no one at the time of its creation could foresee what we have gone through in this past year alone.

Today, many people still are avoiding in-person doctor’s visits to limit potential exposure to COVID-19 or ignoring health concerns altogether. However, when it comes to medical emergencies like stroke, immediate medical attention is crucial.

As a Stroke Team at Excela Health, we work as an interdisciplinary team with patients across the healthcare spectrum to ensure access to nationally recognized stroke care close to home. From Emergency Medical Services to our Emergency Departments, Radiology, Neurologists, Critical Care Units, Inpatient Nursing Units, EPIC Rehabilitation, Care Management, Therapy Services, and Home Health, we provide it all. However, stroke is a critically time-sensitive diagnosis and time lost = brain loss. That’s why we need you to help us make sure your friends and family know the signs and symptoms of stroke and what actions to take.

In many cases, quick action can help with recovery, however recent statistics suggest many people are still avoiding hospitals when they need them most due to anxieties surrounding the pandemic. Don’t let a loved one die or be permanently disabled because of doubt about whether to call 911. Quick action offers the best chance for recovery. It depends on everyone learning and being able to recognize the BE FAST signs of a stroke in themselves and others and calling 911 immediately.

BE FAST stands for Balance, Eyes, Face, Arm, Speech, Time and refers to these signs of stroke:

  • Balance: Sudden loss of balance
  • Eyes: Loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Face: Face looks uneven or droopy (ask someone to smile or show their teeth)
  • Arm: Arm or leg is weak or hanging down
  • Speech: Slurred speech, trouble speaking, or seems confused
  • Time: Immediately call 911

Stroke Coordinator/Quality Analyst