HealthFor Stroke Awareness Month, Doc Advises People 'BE FAST'

For Stroke Awareness Month, Doc Advises People ‘BE FAST’


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May is stroke awareness month. People need to act quickly to avoid lasting damage when they happen – and remember the acronym “BE FAST.”

‘B’ stands for balance and watch if someone is losing it. ‘E’ stands for eyes and changes to vision.

‘F’ is for face and signs of it drooping. ‘A’ is for arms and looking for signs that one arm is dropping when raised.

‘S’ is for speech, listening to hear if it’s slurred. And ‘T’ stands for time to call 911 if any of these signs are present.

Dr. Jennifer Pary is a stroke neurologist at Kaiser Permanente in Spokane. She said in a stroke, time equals brain.

“If you have signs and symptoms of stroke, there’s something that can be done about it. And there’s new treatments all the time,” said Pary. “But time is brain and the longer you wait to go in, the more damage that can be done to the brain that is irreversible.”


Pary said strokes are the number four cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of disability. An average of 800,000 Americans experience strokes each year.

Pary said there are factors that increase the risk of stroke, including diabetes and high cholesterol. But she said the main factor people should keep in mind is blood pressure.

“That is the number one treatable risk factor for stroke,” said Pary. “And in fact if everyone’s blood pressure were under control in this country I probably wouldn’t have a job.”

Pary also warned about mini-strokes, or transient ischemic attacks, which are strokes that only last for a few minutes. She said this often is a warning sign that a bigger stroke is around the corner.

“I always encourage those patients to go in and get checked out right away as well,” said Pary, “because we can find certain things that might put them at high risk that could be handled right away and get them on the right medications to prevent a big stroke from happening.”

Mes de Concientización sobre Accidentes Cerebrovascular, consejos de un doctor

Mayo es el mes de concientizacion sobre los derrames cerebrales. Las personas deben actuar rapidamente para evitar danos duraderos cuando ocurran. Preste atencion a senales comunes como perdida del equilibro, dolor de cabeza o mareos; identifique si existe vision borrosa y note si una mitad del rostro esta caida con respecto a la otra. Ademas, busque senales de debilidad en extremidades de una mitad de su cuerpo como brazo o pierna. Si tiene dificultad para hablar o si esta arrastrando las palabras, tambien puede ser un signo de accidente cerebrovascular. En caso de que alguno de estos sintomas este presente, lo mas importante es llamar lo antes posible al 911. La doctora Jennifer Pary es neurologa de accidentes cerebrovasculares en Kaiser Permanente en Spokane. Ella dice que, durante un derrame, tiempo es igual a salud cerebral.

“Si tiene signos y sintomas de accidente cerebrovascular, hay algo que se puede hacer al respecto. Y hay nuevos tratamientos implementandose constantemente. Pero el tiempo es salud cerebral y cuanto mas espere para pedir ayuda, mas dano irreversible se le puede hacer al cerebro”, agrego la doctora.

Pary dice que los accidentes cerebrovasculares son la cuarta causa de muerte en los Estados Unidos y la principal causa de discapacidad. Un promedio de 800,000 estadounidenses experimentan accidentes cerebrovasculares cada ano.

Pary dice que hay factores que aumentan el riesgo de accidente cerebrovascular, como la diabetes y el colesterol alto. Pero comenta que el principal factor que la gente debe tener en cuenta es la presion arterial.

“Ese es el factor de riesgo tratable numero uno de accidente cerebrovascular y, de hecho, si la presion arterial de todos estuviera bajo control en este pais, probablemente no tendria trabajo”, anadio tambien la doctora.

Pary tambien advierte de los mini accidentes cerebrovasculares o ataques isquemicos transitorios, accidentes cerebrovasculares que solo duran unos minutos. Ella explica que esto a menudo es una senal de advertencia de que un accidente cerebrovascular mas grande esta a la vuelta de la esquina.

“Siempre animo a esos pacientes a que se hagan un chequeo porque podemos encontrar ciertas cosas que podrian ponerlos en alto riesgo y es posible manejarse de inmediato con medicamentos correctos para evitar un accidente cerebrovascular grande”, menciono ademas Pary.

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