Become Stroke Aware

Do you know the signs of a stroke? Do you know the number one thing you can do to help prevent a stroke?

My dad – Dr. James Scott Kennedy – was known around the world as a pioneer in Communications and Theatre, and was called “Mr. Speech” in the 1950s. However, for the last six months of his life, he could not speak. It was painful to watch and, I’m sure, for him to experience. My aunt – Dad’s youngest sister – had a stroke a couple of years ago. She may have recovered, but she didn’t get to a Stroke Center. After ten months of being in the hospital, she died.

Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a stroke.
It’s the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability. It is possible to recover, but time lost is brain lost. Do you know where your nearest Stroke Center is? Do you know the warning signs of a stroke? Here’s what to look for:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

    If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, immediately call 9-1-1 or the emergency medical services (EMS) number so an ambulance (ideally with advanced life support) can be sent for you. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared. It’s very important to take immediate action. If given within 3 hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke.

    Managing your blood pressure is the most important thing you can do to help reduce your chances of having a stroke. Find out more from the American Stroke Association and listen to healthy living tips from Dr. Terri Kennedy on The Daily Dose on WBLS.