May is American Stroke Month. From families to healthcare professionals, and corporations to communities, everyone has a critical role to play in creating stroke-aware communities. While stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of long-term disability among adults in the U.S., many Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern. Multiple efforts are focused on increasing awareness and driving action among Americans across the entire stroke continuum of care: prevention, acute treatment, and post-stroke rehabilitation. We have make a lot of progress, but we still have a ways to go to end stroke and your help is needed!
After a stroke, survivors often are presented different options for rehabilitation, but getting the right timely care, in the right setting, is key in the recovery journey. In the U.S., 800,000 people have a stroke each year, one every 40 seconds. Yet, 80% of strokes are preventable, many Americans cannot identify the warning signs, and most stroke survivors and family caregivers do not know where to go for stroke recovery information. With your help, we can close the gap in stroke awareness and help save lives.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF STROKE?
· Know your blood pressure
· Find out if you have atrial fibrillation (an abnormal heartbeat)
· Stop smoking
· Find out if you have high cholesterol
· If you are diabetic, follow instructions to keep it in control
· Include exercise in your daily routine
· Eat a lower salt, lower fat diet
· Ask your doctor if you have circulation problems
· Act FAST
USE THE FAST TEST TO REMEMBER WARNING SIGNS OF STROKE:
F = Face Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A = Arms Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = Speech Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
T = Time If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately! Remember, time lost is brain cells lost! Stroke is a brain attack!
We will be checking blood pressures on Sunday, May 14th after service. Please stop by to check your numbers. I welcome questions and would be happy to discuss your concerns with you.
Your parish nurse,
Mary Ann Martin, RN