Friday, May 02, 2014

Stroke Awareness Month

The month of May is National Stroke Awareness Month. According to the National Stroke Association ( ,“A stroke or 'brain attack' occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery (a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body) or a blood vessel (a tube through which the blood moves through the body) breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happen, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs.”

Strokes can happen to anyone, regardless of their age, race, or sex. Risk factors that increase the chances of a person having a stroke include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and alcohol and tobacco use.

The best way to recognize the symptoms of a stroke are by using the FAST technique endorsed by the National Stroke Association. FAST is broken down as follows:

Ask the person to smile.
Does one side of the face droop?

Ask the person to raise both arms.
Does one arm drift downward?

Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase.
Is their speech slurred or strange?

If you observe any of these signs,
call 9-1-1 immediately.

High blood pressure is one of the leading indicators of a person’s risk of having a stroke. In honor of Stroke Awareness month, the Woodlawn Library is partnering with the Jefferson County Department of Health to provide free blood pressure checks on Friday, May 9, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Qualified medical personnel will be available to talk to you about your blood pressure and to answer any stroke related questions that you may have.

Pamela Jessie
Woodlawn Library

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