Stroke can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of race, sex or age. Also, it is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., killing over 133,000 people each year, and it is a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability.
That’s why Dr. Cynthia Martinez-Capolino, director of Newark-Wayne Community Hospital’s (NWCH) Stroke program/Emergency Department physician, and Crystal Avon, RN, coordinator of the program/ED nurse, sponsored a Stroke Fair at Newark-Wayne yesterday, Monday, July 15th, to raise awareness of stroke symptoms, what someone should do if they think they might be having a stroke and how to minimize your risk for having a stroke. NWCH is a NYS Stroke hospital. In addition to the stroke team, hospital departments and community health organizations participated to educate the public about resources that are available in Wayne County. They included: the NWCH Dietitians, Wayne County Public Health’s Smoking Cessation Program, Wayne County Rural Health Network and the Cancer Services Program of Wayne County.
“Knowing the symptoms and getting help immediately is vital for surviving a stroke and for the best outcomes,” said Dr. Martinez-Capolino. “Another important part of achieving the best outcomes is to try to prevent strokes and cardiovascular disease by changing your lifestyle: controlling your blood pressure, eating a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, getting enough exercise, controlling stress and becoming healthier.”
Stroke symptoms include:
- SUDDEN numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg - especially on one side of the body.
- SUDDEN confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
- SUDDEN trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- SUDDEN trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- SUDDEN severe headache with no known cause.
A simple way to remember the important symptoms is to remember the acronym, FAST!
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 droop down?
S=SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T=TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately! It could save your life!
For more information, go to www.stroke.org.