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You CAN Prevent a Stroke

Sep 26, 2019

Learn About Stroke Prevention, Symptoms and Management At Two Upcoming Seminars

BEFAST and call 911. You may have heard the acronym FAST related to stroke, but the new acronym you need to remember is BEFAST—and always call 911 when it comes to stroke!

BEFAST stands for:

B – Balance – Have you lost balance? Are your legs wobbly?

E – Eyes – Are you experiencing blurred vision or partial blindness?

F – Face – Is one side of your mouth drooping?

A – Arms – Is one side of your body weak?

S – Speech – Is your speech slurred? Can you say your “S’s?”

T – Time – Time is brain… you need to get help quickly.

paper cut out of a headDid you know that almost 2 million brain cells die each minute during a stroke? Time is essential when a stroke occurs, and if you’re not aware of stroke symptoms then you may not know to call 911. Some people may not feel well and think they can just sleep it off, or they’ll wait and see how they feel later on. However, Desert Care Network Stroke Program Coordinator, Cindy Zamorez, BBA, RN, SCRN, tells people the opposite.

“If you suspect a stroke, don’t drive in, don’t have someone drive you to the ER—call 911. You’ll get here faster and the first responders will start preparing you for treatment right away.”

Zamorez and two neurologists from Desert Care Network – Kevin Attenhofer, MD and Kirvia Ubri, MD – are giving two seminars about stroke prevention, management and symptoms.

With a stroke occurring every 40 seconds in the United States, do you know if you or a loved one is at risk? People with a family history of stroke or those with any of the following risk factors should attend these seminars.

Stroke Risk Factors

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • High cholesterol level
  • High blood pressure
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Family history of stroke or heart attack

One myth Dr. Attenhofer wants to dispel is that only older people experience strokes. While stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States and nearly three quarters of all strokes occur in those over 65, it does happen to younger patients.

“When prevention fails and someone suffers a stroke, life can change in an instant. It’s important to realize that stroke can affect anyone. I see many 20 and 30 year olds with stroke,” he said.

However, many strokes may be preventable if people understand and address the causes of stroke, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and atrial fibrillation.

“Recognizing the signs and symptoms quickly is paramount. We can do a lot to treat stroke, but some treatments can only be administered in the first few hours,” Dr. Attenhofer said.

Dr. Attenhofer will also discuss life after a stroke, as they are helping more and more people return to as normal a life as possible. After treatment, many return to work, driving, and play with their children or grandchildren.

“The bottom line is that everyone I encounter thinks of stroke as lethal or debilitating. It can be, but much more often it is recoverable. The most common result of a stroke is that the patient goes home from the hospital. When I have seen people return to clinic in three or six months after a stroke, they look like new people compared to when they came in the hospital,” Dr. Attenhofer said.

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