BEFAST

 In 2023, Tip of the Week

Sharon Stone is an actress and AIDS activist, well known for her starring role in the hit movie, Fatal Attraction. In 2001, she suffered a hemorrhagic stroke and was given a one percent chance of survival. She had a bleed in her brain that lasted for nine days. She has since made a full recovery.

Hailey Bieber, wife of Justin Bieber, had a stroke when she was only 25 years old. It was not as serious as the stroke that affected Sharon, and Hailey was only hospitalized for a short time, then returned home to complete her recovery.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Strokes can affect anyone, at any time. Some of us probably know someone who has been affected by a stroke. The stroke patient either recovered completely or may have suffered some type of difficulty functioning for some period of time.

To quote the National Institutes of Health, “Strokes are caused by blocked blood flow to the brain (ischemic stroke) or sudden bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). There are some other types of strokes, but ischemic and hemorrhagic are the most common.

Recently, the symptoms of a stroke have been expanded to the acronym BEFAST. These symptoms include:

 

Balance: Is the person’s balance affected?

Eyes: Has the person lost vision in one or both eyes?

Face: Is the person’s face drooping, or does it look uneven?

Arm: Is one of the person’s arms drooping or hanging down?

Speech: Is the person having trouble speaking? Is it slurred, or do they seem confused?

Thunderclap Headache: Is the person having a bad headache, maybe one that came on suddenly?

If you see someone having one or more of these symptoms, or if you are experiencing the symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately. The faster immediate professional medical care is received, the more likely and faster recovery will happen. Treatment will start with the emergency responders sent when you call 9-1-1. The patient will then be rapidly transported to a hospital, where procedures will be quickly administered that can open the artery in an ischemic stroke, or the doctors can start to stop the blood flow that is causing a hemorrhagic stroke. These procedures reduce the damage that the brain could have from a stroke.

As we know, preventing a stroke is much preferred to trying to fix the damage a stroke can cause. The website www.stroke.org has detailed information that we recommend you review.

The following are just a few of the factors that can when controlled can possibly prevent a stroke:

 

 Reducing high blood pressure.

 Quitting smoking.

 Controlling obesity.

 Increasing physical activity.

 Controlling cholesterol.

 Maintaining a healthy diet.

Your weekly challenge is to talk about strokes with your coworkers. Talk about the symptoms in BEFAST. And then discuss some ways that they could control their risk of having a stroke.

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