Michigan Association of Health Plans

Use this acronym to spot the 6 signs of a stroke

This story appeared in the Lansing State Journal. Read more here

Imagine losing 2 million brain cells in the next 60 seconds. That’s what can happen to people who are having a stroke as every minute passes before they receive treatment.

Strokes are the fifth-leading cause of death in the united states and cause the highest number of
long-term disabilities. Once a blood vessel bursts or is blocked and oxygen stops flowing to the brain, time is ticking for a person’s future. Knowing how to spot the signs of a stroke can help save a life.

If you can remember the acronym BE FAST, you can remember these signs to watch for:

Balance: Are they suddenly having difficulty with balance or coordination?

Eyes: Are they having trouble seeing or experiencing double vision?

Face: Do they notice drooping or numbness on one side of their face?

Arms: Are they having weakness in one arm or trouble extending it?

Speech: Are their words slurred or are they having difficulty finishing sentences?

Time: If you notice any of these signs, call 911 and get help.

There are many treatment options for strokes, but some can only be used in a short window of time after a stroke begins. “Some people have symptoms of a stroke but wait to see if they will go away and may not be eligible for certain treatments once they get to the hospital,” said Jeneen Hinkle, MSN, RN, FNP-C, McLaren Greater Lansing Stroke Program Coordinator RN Neuro. “Time is of the essence, so it is always better to be safe than sorry.”

McLaren Greater Lansing is a designated Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and continues to provide cutting-edge, compassionate care to stroke patients.

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