It’s summer time, which hopefully means more time to sit back, relax and let your guard down. But there’s one medical condition you should remain vigilant about: stroke. Alarmingly, South Carolina remains firmly in the “stroke belt,” a cluster of eight southeastern states with high stroke mortality rates, and the risk for stroke doesn’t take a summer vacation.
Time is of the utmost essence when it comes to stroke survival and recovery. Even a few seconds can make a difference in outcome, so it’s super important to know the signs and symptoms of stroke, which include:
- Sudden, severe headache
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on only one side
- Trouble speaking or understanding
- Blurred vision
- Loss of balance or coordination
If you experience any of the above, or see someone else experiencing symptoms of a stroke, call 911 immediately. Do NOT hesitate – stroke is one of those areas where it’s better to be safe than sorry. Getting someone who has suffered a stroke to an emergency room quickly can be lifesaving.
Because it can be hard to think quickly, especially in a potential medical emergency, learn the acronym BE FAST as an easy way to remember the signs and symptoms of stroke:
Balance – loss of balance
Eyes – blurred vision
Face – facial drooping
Arms – arm weakness
Speech – slurred speech
Time – call 911 for immediate medical attention
Roper Hospital and Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital have both been recognized by the Joint Commission for consistent clinical outcomes for stroke care and are accredited Primary Stroke Centers. Our emergency department doctors follow well established, evidence-based stroke response protocols, so patients have optimal chances of recovery. Both hospitals also received the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Award and Target: Stroke Honor Roll-Elite Plus Award for applying the most appropriate treatment guidelines.