Published on May 21, 2019

Nazareth Hospital Educates Community on Warning Signs of Stroke

Northeast Philadelphia (May 21, 2019): In recognition of National Stroke Awareness Month, Nazareth Hospital urges community members to “BE FAST” in identifying symptoms of stroke to reduce the risk of death and disability.

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the number one cause of disability and fifth leading cause of death in the United States, with a stroke occurring every 40 seconds. A stroke occurs when a blood clot or artery rupture prevents blood and oxygen from getting to the brain.

Nazareth Hospital colleagues encourage patients to use the acronym “BE FAST” — recently updated from “FAST” by the American Stroke Association — to act quickly during a stroke. A stroke may produce the following symptoms, and requires immediate medical attention:

B – Balance Loss

E – Eyesight Loss

F – Facial Drooping

A – Arm Weakness

S – Speech Difficulty

T – Time to call 911

“Strokes can be life changing for a person, particularly if they are not recognized or treated quickly,” said Edward R. O’Dell, DO, Chief Medical Officer at Nazareth Hospital. “Being able to rapidly identify the signs of stroke can ultimately help reduce damage to the brain, prevent disability and save lives.”

Certain lifestyle factors and conditions, such as smoking and high blood pressure, can increase the risk of stroke. While men 65 and older are at the greatest risk for stroke, a stroke can affect a person at any age. Despite the prevalence of stroke, fewer than one in five Americans can correctly classify all stroke symptoms.

For more information about stroke or Nazareth Hospital’s Stroke Center, visit mercyhealth.org.