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May Is Stroke Awareness Month

May 2, 2012

By Kaylin Krashesky

MEDFORD, Ore. — Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States and Tuesday marks the start of Stroke Awareness Month.  Strokes are not only the third leading cause of death in the United States, but they are also the leading cause of adult disability.

Stroke experts use the acronym “FAST” to describe stroke symptoms, saying look for Facial droop, Arm weakness or numbness, Slurring of speech, and say Time is of the essence. Rogue Valley Medical Center says they see about 250 to 300 stoke come in to their emergency room each year.

There are treatment options, such as certain medicines to help break up clots or clot extraction. After treatment, many patients will go to physical therapy. There, professionals evaluate strength, range of motion, and balance.

Doctors are hoping to get a message through as well, saying the best way to help stroke victims survive is to recognize symptoms and call 911 immediately if you suspect a stroke.

Risk factors for strokes include things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Strokes are a result of cardiovascular disease, so these risk factors are similar to those for heart attacks and heart disease as well.