F-A-S-T action helps diminish effects of stroke

Every 40 seconds someone in the United States suffers from a stroke. (Louis Finley/KTVO)

“As time passes in a stroke, more brain dies,” said Northeast Regional Medical Center’s Medical Stroke Director Dr. Johnathan Beary.

An alarming message.

“Many times they just wished they had died,” Beary said.

When signs of a stroke appear beary says acting F-A-S-T is key.

“Remember the word fast. F, stands for facial asymmetry or facial droopiness. A, stands for arm weakness. S, would be speech difficulty. And the T would be time to call 911,” Beary said.

Beary stressed that most strokes are preventable.

“There due to high blood pressure, cholesterol issues, smoking. Especially smoking,” Beary said.

The numbers are staggering. Every 40 seconds someone in the United States suffers from a stroke.

“When a stroke happens so as there is decreased blood flow to the brain, those tissues die very quickly,” Beary said.

For every five minutes that pass, two million neurons die.

“It’s an extremely time dependent phenomenon,” Beary said.

According to Beary, women in particular should head these warnings.

“It might not be widely-known that more women will die this year from stroke then will die from breast cancer,” Beary said.

In some cases, early action will decrease lasting harmful effects. Like one patient of Beary’s.

“We gave him this clot busting medication, TPA, and it was like watching someone be raised from the dead. Within a few minutes his speech began to normalize and that weakness began to melt away,” Beary said.

And a healthy brain starts at home.

“That’s the biggest thing. Change in lifestyle, and that’s the hardest thing,” Beary said.
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