Take preventive measures, know the symptoms and BE-FAST* if you suspect a stroke.
Balance: Is the person having trouble walking? Loss of balance or coordination, dizziness. Eyes: Is the person having trouble seeing? Change in vision in one or both eyes. Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop? Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is speech slurred or strange? Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
*BE-FAST was developed by Intermountain Healthcare, as an adaptation of the FAST model implemented by the American Stroke Association. Reproduced with permission from Intermountain Healthcare. Copyright 2011, Intermountain Healthcare.
The Stroke Care Network, a partnership between UK HealthCare and Norton Healthcare, is an affiliation of 34 regional hospitals dedicated to the highest-quality stroke care. Based on extensive research, the Stroke Care Network has developed a system of care that provides prompt diagnosis and treatment to minimize the damage a stroke can cause.
A key step in stroke diagnosis is a computerized tomography (CT) scan to find bleeding in the brain or damage to the brain cells. Since 2015, the time it takes to get a CT scan read by doctors and begin a treatment plan has decreased from 52 minutes to 39 minutes in a Stroke Care Network hospital. Clot-busting medication may reduce long-term disability, but is only available within a few hours of the first symptom.