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Letter to the Editor: Recognize the Signs and Seek Help Fast

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October 18, 2017

Dear Editor,

Stroke, the No. 3 leading cause of death in NJ, is largely treatable. The faster you are treated, the more likely you are to recover.  If you or someone you love suffers a stroke, it’s important to recognize the signs and seek help FAST. In most cases, someone other than the stroke patient, like a family member, makes the decision to seek treatment.

Together to End Stroke®, an American Heart Association/American Stroke Association initiative, nationally sponsored by Medtronic, educates the public about common stroke warning signs and what to do in a stroke emergency, using the acronym F.A.S.T.:

  • Face Drooping - Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
  • Arm Weakness - Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech Difficulty - Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue."
  • Time to Call 9-1-1 - If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recognizes World Stroke Day on October 29th by sharing educational resources and tools and raising awareness about the warning signs of a stroke through F.A.S.T.  Please visit www.StrokeAssociation.org/worldstrokeday to learn more.

Respectfully,

Mandy Binning, MD

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association South-Central NJ Board of Directors                     

Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center

Camden, NJ

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