Stroke awareness: signs to look out for & how to help prevent one

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 6:11 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - When it comes to a stroke, every minute counts. May is Stroke Awareness Month, and local doctors want you to be aware of the risk factors, signs to look out for, and how to help prevent one from happening.

“Stroke is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality.”

Dr. Burton Tabaac, Medical Director of Comprehensive Stroke Center at Renown Health

Dr. Burton Tabaac is the Medical Director in the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Renown Health. He says strokes can happen to any body, any age group, and any population.

“There’s a blockage or a clot and lack of blood flow and oxygen and nutrients going to the brain,” Dr. Tabaac said.

When looking for signs of a stroke, follow “BE FAST.” B is for sudden loss of balance, E is for loss of vision, F is for face drooping, A is for arm drifting, S is for slurred speech or trouble pronouncing words, and T is for time, which is a reminder to call 911 immediately if you notice any of these happening.

Dr. Tabaac added, “Depending on what part of the brain was affected, that’s going to produce certain symptoms.”

Recovery takes place within the first three months after a stroke and can continue beyond a year.

“We see about 70% of patients getting at least 70% better,” Dr. Tabaac said, “Rehabilitation, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy are paramount to that recovery.”

So how can you reduce your chances of becoming the next stroke patient?

Dr. Tabaac added, “Minimize your exposure to second-hand smoke, not smoking, exercise, a Mediterranean diet, and if any patients or the population has any vascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, that should be addressed with your primary care doctor.”

The “LOVE” sign in front of Renown will be lit up red for the entire month of May for Stroke Awareness.

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