Raising awareness of World Stroke Day

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FLINT (WJRT) - (10/29/17) - Sunday is World Stroke Day, which aims to raise awareness of what to look out for when having a stroke.

A stroke is when a person has a blockage of blood flow to the brain.

Stacy Sawyer with the American Heart Association says getting blockages treated as soon as possible is key.

"The sooner you are treated for a stroke, the less the effects will be from the stroke on your body," she said.

In fact, patients who are treated within 90 minutes of their first symptoms are three times more likely to recover with little or no disability, that's according to the American Heart Association.

So how do you know if someone is having one? Think of the acronym FAST

"F stands for face so if a person's face is drooping on one side, that is a sign of stroke, A stands for arm so arm weakness or numbness, S stands for speech so your speech is often slurred when you're having a stroke, and T stands for time, and it's time to call 911," Sawyer said.

It's estimated that 58 percent of Americans don't know if they are at risk for stroke.

"Preventing stroke is very similar to preventing heart disease, they're both cardiovascular diseases so everything that you do to improve your heart health will actually improve your brain health," she said.

And that means things like controlling cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, not smoking, and eating healthy to name a few.

"Stroke is the number two killer in the world and it's number 5 here in America," she said.

The American Heart Association encourages people to speak with their doctors, know their overall health and lead a healthy lifestyle.

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