Stroke continues to be the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in Canada; approximately 1 in 4 people will have a stroke in their lifetime. Which is why every June, for Stroke Month, the Northwestern Ontario Regional Stroke Network wants to provide information on recognizing the signs of a stroke and to act quickly.
Stroke is a medical emergency in which minutes matter. Calling your emergency services number immediately is critical to ensure that the person gets timely care and treatment, potentially avoiding significant disability.
“We need to be aware of the benefits of calling 9-1-1 and the expertise that first responders and paramedics bring to stroke care,” says Dr. Ayman Hassan, Medical Lead for the Northwestern Ontario Regional Stroke Network. “They are trained to recognize the signs of stroke and mobilize the patient quickly.”
Heart and Stroke has released the FAST acronym to support with the identification of stroke symptoms. This acronym is a national public awareness initiative to support stroke identification that does not depend on race, culture, gender or language.
Face – Is it drooping?
Arms – Can you raise both?
Speech – Is it slurred or jumbled?
Time to call 9-1-1 right away.
A stroke can be mild, moderate or severe, which is why a FAST evaluation and treatment is required. 911 is the quickest and most effective way to get acute stroke care. Treatments continue to be time specific and only can be administered within hours of symptom onset.
Remember to act FAST because minutes matter.
For more information, visit www.nwostroke.ca.