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May is American Stroke Awareness Month

When people think of stroke they usually think of someone in their 80's or 90's lying in bed and receiving around the clock the care. But, what I have seen in my career is that a lot of stroke victims are actually younger, between the age of 45-65, and needing more assistance than what they had ever thought from a cane or other assistive device. The medical term for stroke is Cerebrovascular Accident or CVA, but a more common term people use is Stroke. According to the Mayo Clinic, "A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells begin to die in minutes. A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is crucial. Early action can reduce brain damage and other complications."

Strokes can happen from a blockage such as a blood clot or it could happen due to a brain bleed such as a ruptured blood vessel, as another example. Usually hypertension or high blood pressure and heart disease are some of the most common causes of strokes, but there are other things that can create such devastation also. But no matter what causes the stroke the most effective way to treat this is getting medical attention right away. So calling 911 is imperative to survival and better outcomes, not driving yourself or having someone drive you to the hospital. So, call 911, there are life saving medicine that can be started right in the ambulance to help preserve your life and function.

Acting F.A.S.T. is one of the best ways to help increase your chances of survival and ultimately a quicker recovery. So please if you are having any of these symptoms:

F- Face drooping

A- Arm weakness

S- Speech (slurred)

T- Time to call 911

There are many things to see a doctor for, but when it comes to life and limb this is an emergency situation and not the time to make an appointment to get in to see a primary care provider or make a telehealth visit. You must seek immediate assistance through an emergency professional. So call 911 and be treated in the emergency department fast. Again here are the signs that you need help:

Signs and symptoms of stroke include:

  • Trouble speaking and understanding what others are saying. You may experience confusion, slur your words or have difficulty understanding speech.

  • Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg. You may develop sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in your face, arm or leg. This often affects just one side of your body. Try to raise both your arms over your head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, you may be having a stroke. Also, one side of your mouth may droop when you try to smile.

  • Problems seeing in one or both eyes. You may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, or you may see double.

  • Headache. A sudden, severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness, may indicate that you're having a stroke.

  • Trouble walking. You may stumble or lose your balance. You may also have sudden dizziness or a loss of coordination.

So stay on medications that your doctor has prescribed for blood pressure or heart disease. If you are out of your medications and can't get in to see your provider, we can help to refill your appropriate medications. Contact us at and make an appointment. Do you have a diagnosis for Hypertension and need a blood pressure cuff to monitor your BP? go to the

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