ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey from the National Stroke Association (NSA) found that one in three Americans are unable to name a single stroke symptom. Every 45 seconds someone suffers a stroke -- and many are not acting fast enough to prevent a fatal outcome or the serious long-term disability that can occur if treatment is not received in time. Researchers report 80 percent of strokes are preventable, yet one in four Americans cannot name a single risk factor for stroke.
"Understanding the warning signs is important because there are treatments we can give for stroke. If you understand the warning signs and get to the hospital quickly we can even possibly reverse the stroke itself," says Dr. Dawn Kleindorfer, assistant professor of neurology at University of Cincinnati School of Medicine.
More than 30 percent of Americans are not aware that a stroke patient currently may not be eligible for treatment if more than three hours have elapsed after the first stroke symptoms. The NSA's "Women in Your Life" campaign will educate both men and women on how to act F.A.S.T. by recognizing stroke symptoms and taking action:
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 sentence.
Are the words slurred? Can the patient repeat the sentence
TIME -- If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important.
Call 911 or get to the hospital fast. Brain cells are dying.
"There is a real need for public education about the symptoms of stroke," said Jim Baranski, CEO and executive director of the NSA. "The goal of the 'Women in Your Life' campaign is to educate people on how to recognize a stroke before it happens to them or someone they know."
Taking action at the first sign of stroke is the key to reducing death and disability from this disease. The "Women in Your Life" campaign was developed in response to these alarming facts:
* More women than men die from strokes, yet 30 percent of women report
they would not recognize the symptoms of stroke.
* Nearly one-third of men can't act quickly if their loved ones suffer a
stroke because they can't recognize even one stroke symptom.
* Twice as many women die from stroke than breast cancer, yet 19 percent
report they don't know any risk factors for stroke.
* More women are caregivers for stroke survivors.
For additional information on the "Women in Your Life" campaign, please visit www.stroke.org or call 1-800-STROKES to receive a free informational booklet. The "Women in Your Life" campaign is sponsored by AstraZeneca.
Stroke is the leading cause of disability and the third leading cause of death among adults. The most common type of stroke is ischemic stroke, which occurs when blood clots block arteries and cut off blood flow to the brain. The most common stroke symptoms are: numbness in the body, dizziness or confusion. Risk factors for stroke include: previous stroke, previous mini- stroke or transient ischemic attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, atrial fibrillation and carotid artery disease as well as being overweight, smoking and consuming too much alcohol.
About National Stroke Association
Based in Englewood, CO, the National Stroke Association (NSA) is a leading, independent national nonprofit organization devoting 100 percent of its efforts and resources to stroke. Currently, NSA is launching a comprehensive program to educate emergency medical technicians about the logistics of recognizing and handling the needs of a person suffering from a stroke. For more information contact NSA at 1-800-STROKES (767-6537) or visit www.stroke.org.
National Stroke Association