Monday, October 19, 2020



 Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp, Strike-Out-Stroke and Youth Education on Stroke, the three divisions of United Stroke Alliance, have been promoting the acronym BE-FASTER as a way to remember how to recognize if a person is having a stroke, and what to do if they are. Below is a detailed explanation of what each letter represents.  
United Stroke Alliance (USA) recognizes that each year 700,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke. Approximately 543,000 survive the stroke, many experiencing significant physical limitations as well as emotional and cognitive challenges. For almost everyone, the stroke was not a planned or wanted event. It struck without notice and changed the lives of the family forever.

BE-FASTER represents the majority of the signs of stroke. In short, most people in America do not know the signs and do not respond quick enough to receive early treatment to minimize post stroke challenges. In fact, 80% of Americans that experience a stroke do not respond quick enough because they did not know the signs of stroke.

Whether you know CPR or know the signs of stroke, you can save a life. Remember:


[B]Balance - Sudden loss of balance?
If there is a sudden problem with a person's balance or they fall and can't get up, it could indicate a stroke event, especially if it is accompanied by one or more of the other indicators mentioned in the 
BE-FASTER! list.

[E]Eyes - Sudden blurry or loss of vision?
If the person suddenly loses their sight or has other sudden and noticeable vision problems, this could indicate a stroke event, especially if it is accompanied by one or more of the other indicators mentioned in the BE-FASTER! list.

[F]Face - Sudden numbness, one side droops?
Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face seem to droop more than the other? If so, this could indicate a stroke event, especially if it is accompanied  by one or more of the other indicators mentioned in the BE-FASTER list.

[A]Arms - Arms suddenly weak. Can both raise?
Ask the person to raise both arms. If the person has lost the ability to keep one of their arms up, it could be an indication of a stroke, especially if it is accompanied by one or more of the other indicators mentioned in the BE-FASTER! list.

[S]Speech - Slurred or mumbling speech?
Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. (The sky is blue, The grass is green. Mary had a little lamb, etc.) If the person does not have the ability to speak or their speech is slurred or hard to understand, this could indicate a stroke event, especially if it is accompanied by one or more of the other indicators mentioned in the BE-FASTER! list.

[T]Time - Call 911 NOW !!!
If you recognize any of the symptoms indicating a stroke, it is critical to get the person to a stroke hospital immediately.

Go by ambulance, they know what to do FASTER.

1.9 million brain cells are dying each minute that blood is not able to reach the brain.

There is a drug that may prevent more brain cells from being damaged by the stroke, and that may lessen the effects of the stroke.
The drug must be administered within three (3) hours of a stroke's first symptoms.

[ER]Emergency Response
Get to the ER by ambulance.

They know what to do FASTER!

This is critical to remember. If you try to drive your own car to the hospital to deliver a person suspected of having a stroke, there are so many things that can go wrong along the way. 
You could have
mechanical problems, run out of gas, get in a traffic jam, or even an accident.

Remember, those 1.9 million brain cells are dying every minute.

Some may think waiting for an ambulance is a waste of valuable time but there are things the EMT can do along the way to the hospital.

They will be driving legally faster that you can.

They will be diagnosing the status of the patient on the way, performing any emergency medical assistance needed. They will know where a stroke hospital is.

They will be calling ahead to the hospital and requesting a stroke team that will be waiting at the door when you arrive. Remember, it is critical that you get transported to a stroke hospital, diagnosed, and receive treatment within three hours of the onset of the first symptoms of a stroke.

Knowing the signs of stroke can save a life. Once a stroke begins to present itself, BE-FASTER! and dial 911.

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