MACON, Ga. — Each year, National Stroke Month is observed during the month of May. Navicent Health invites the community to learn to recognize and react to stroke by acting FAST.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke takes the lives of approximately 140,000 American each year, or an estimated 1 in 20 deaths. It is also the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year, and stroke prevalence is projected to increase by 20.5 percent by 2030.
“On average, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds, and only 38 percent of Americans are aware of all major symptoms and know to call 9-1-1 when someone is having a stroke. Central Georgians are at an increased risk for stroke due to the prevalence of common risk factors that include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and tobacco use. At Navicent Health, our desire is to educate the public so that they minimize their risk for stroke, and also recognize a stroke when it occurs,” said Denise Goings, MSN, RN, SCRN, Stroke Coordinator for The Medical Center, Navicent Health (MCNH).
Clinicians at Navicent Health remind the public to act FAST if they experience any of these signs or symptoms.
- F – Facial weakness (Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?)
- A – Arm or leg weakness (Can the person raise both arms?)
- S – Speech difficulty (Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?)
- T – Time to act (Seek medical attention immediately!)
While many non-essential and elective healthcare services have been postponed as a result of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), those experiencing symptoms of stroke should seek appropriate medical care immediately by calling 911 or going directly to an emergency center.
“With stroke, time lost is brain lost. The sooner a person receives appropriate medical care, the higher the chances that they will recover without long-term, debilitating effects. Our stroke team remains committed to caring for stroke patients during this pandemic,” said Goings.
MCNH is a nine-time recipient of AHA’s “Get With the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus” Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes MCNH’s commitment to quality care for stroke patients, and success in implementing an exemplary standard of care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines. In addition, MCNH has also achieved AHA’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus for increasing the number of eligible ischemic stroke patients who receive tissue plasminogen activatorin in 45 minutes or less from arriving at the hospital (known as ‘door-to-needle’ time).