In the U.S. someone dies from stroke every 4 minutes. May is stroke awareness month, so it is literally time to do something about it!
Discuss these alarming U.S. stroke stats in your next CPR or First Aid class:
- Strokes kill about 130,000 Americans each year. That’s 1 of every 20 deaths!
- There are 800,000 strokes annually.
- 1 of every 6 people will suffer a stroke in his or her lifetime.
- Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death. (data from 2013)
- Stroke is a leading cause of serious long term disability.
- From a financial standpoint, strokes costs $34 billion a year.
So what’s the good news?
- Strokes are preventable, so learn how to reduce your risk factors.
- Early recognition and action can significantly improve the outcome!
Some risk factors are controllable. Learn your risk factors, then reduce those than you can impact in order reduce your risk of having a stroke. By taking action to reduce the risk for stroke, you also reduce the risk for heart attack. For a lot of us, it’s a lifestyle issue. Daily choices add up. Here are some tips on stroke prevention:
- Know your risk factors
- Make healthy food choices (stay away from salty, fried and greasy – you know, the good stuff)
- Exercise regularly
- Treat high blood pressure
- Lower unhealthy cholesterol levels
- Quit smoking
- Limit alcohol intake
- Manage diabetes
Recognizing a stroke early can save a life and may also reduce long term disability. Emergency treatment of stroke is most successful in the early minutes and hours after symptoms begin. Early recognition is key to improving the outcome of a stroke!
Use S-T-R, the first 3 letters of the word stroke:
- Smile: Ask the person to smile. Both sides of the face should move equally. Look for a droop on one side of the face (one-sided smile).
- Talk: Ask the person to repeat a common phrase. Listen for slurred or incorrect words.
- Reach: Ask the person to close their eyes and raise their arms, palms up. Look for arm drift, weakness, or difficulty following instructions.
If you suspect a stroke, take the following actions:
- Call 911.
- Protect the airway. If fluid or vomit is in the mouth, place the person on his or her side so fluids drain out.
- Calm and reassure the person that help is on the way.
- Note the time that symptoms began; inform EMS responders.
- If the stroke victim collapses or becomes unresponsive, check for breathing. If there is no breathing or only gasping, start CPR.
Spread the word during Stroke Awareness Month
Here’s what you can do:
- Inform your students that it is Stroke Awareness month.
- Post or hand out the infographic in your classes.
- Encourage discussion on stroke prevention, recognition and response.
- Promote awareness – we’ll help you! Take a photo of your CPR or First Aid class during Stroke Awareness Month. We’ll post it and promote your business on social media.