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Raising Stroke Awareness in May

Posted by Lynn Bronikowski Apr 26 2017

There was a 44% spike in the number of young Americans (under 45 years old) hospitalized due to stroke over the last decade. Yet 73% of younger Americans are not familiar with stroke symptoms and the need for urgent medical attention.

About 800,000 people will have a stroke in the U.S. this year and over 130,000 will die from it.

In honor of National Stroke Awareness Month in May, the National Stroke Association created a website with a plethora of free resources that allows the public to become an advocate for stroke and educate themselves and others.

Visit www.stroke.org/NSAM to learn more about stroke and how to spot it by viewing educational videos, downloading materials and other tools, and using community presentations to help spread the word this May.

At the heart of the May stroke awareness campaign is an animated video titled “Young Stroke: An Unexpected Reality,” which offers insight about stroke and resources for stroke survivors and families.

“It is critical that we get the word out and educate younger Americans about stroke. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in adults, and it can happen to anyone,” said Robyn Moore, CEO of the National Stroke Association. “A stroke is a ’brain attack’ that occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a blood clot or broken blood vessel and can be caused by a number of factors. It is a myth that stroke only happens to the elderly. At the heart of the May stroke awareness campaign is an interactive video titled “Young Stroke: An Unexpected Reality,” which offers special insight about stroke in younger adults and outlines resources for younger stroke survivors and families.

Everyone’s help is needed right now to continue spreading the word about identifying stroke symptoms, since every second counts when a stroke occurs, and spotting a stroke correctly is the first step towards saving lives. One way to properly identify a potential stroke is via the FAST method.

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

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

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

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

Moore said the association’s online resources ask the public to help spread stroke awareness through several channels, ranging from social media, email, and presentations that can be used to learn more about this devastating disease. 

Looking for ideas on how you, personally, can play a part in raising stroke awareness? A unique idea generator tool asks a few questions and then suggests a good fit for getting involved with the stroke community.

“Our 2017 campaign primarily focuses on younger stroke survivors, but it also gives people of any age the tools to become informed and spread our message about stroke,” said Moore. “Even something as simple as posting on Facebook or sending one of our colorful E-cards about stroke risks to family members, co-workers and friends will make a difference in getting everyone to wise up about the symptoms of stroke and prevention.”

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