FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- In observance of National Stroke Awareness Month, Broward Health is kicking off a series of events in May to educate the community on stroke prevention and treatments. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 people a year, according to the American Stroke Association. That's one in every 20 deaths. Someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds, and every four minutes, someone dies of stroke. Stroke is also a leading cause of long-term disability and the leading preventable cause of disability.
"A stroke can happen to anyone, at any time, but our goal at Broward Health is to educate the community about the risk factors associated with strokes and ways to prevent them," said Broward Health President/CEO Beverly Capasso. “We’re also educating the public on how to recognize stroke symptoms and the importance of taking quick action during a stroke when seconds count. Getting effective treatment delivered within the first three hours of a stroke can significantly improve a patient’s outcome.”
According to the National Stroke Association, there was a 44 percent spike in the number of young Americans (age 45 and under) who have been hospitalized due to stroke within the last decade. Yet 73 percent of this demographic are not familiar with stroke symptoms and the need for urgent medical care.
The first step in preventing a stroke is being aware of the risk factors. Some risk factors can be treated -- such as high blood pressure, excessive alcohol intake, high cholesterol and obesity -- while others factors, like gender, increasing age, heredity and race can’t be changed. In the event of a stroke, it’s important to act F.A.S.T. and do the following:
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? Or is one arm unable to rise up?
Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his or her speech slurred or strange?
Time: If you observe any of these signs, time to call 911 immediately.
Broward Health is hosting the following events during the month of May:
May 2: Broward Health Coral Springs will be offering a stroke lecture from 10 to 11 a.m. for the hospital’s diabetes senior wellness group in the hospital’s Medical Office Complex Building (Conference room A/B). For more information, click here.
May 10: Broward Health North offers a support group for stroke patients and their caregivers on the second Thursday of every month in the hospital’s Neuro Resource Room, located in the first floor main lobby. For more information, click here.
May 15: Broward Health Medical Center’s stroke team will provide free glucose, blood pressure, O2 saturation and cholesterol screenings, as well as stroke education, to patients, staff and visitors in the main lobby from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information, click here.
May 23: The Comprehensive Stroke team at Broward Health North is hosting a “Spike Out Stroke” event. From 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., the hospital will provide free blood sugar and cholesterol screenings, memory tests, stroke risk assessments, pharmacy consults and sleep apnea screenings. Following the screenings, Celso Agner, MD, MS, MSc, interventional neurologist with the Broward Health Physician Group, will be giving a lecture on Stroke: Signs and Symptoms. For more information, click here.
May 24: Broward Health Imperial Point will be offering a health fair geared to educate the community about stroke awareness and cardiac health. The hospital will offer free blood pressure checks, free cholesterol screenings, education materials, some delicious heart healthy food followed by a lecture by Cardiac Nurse Manager Phyllis Ahern. For more information, click here.