It’s Better Speech and Hearing Month! This public awareness campaign is led by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association to help raise public awareness of communication disorders. This year’s campaign theme is Early Intervention Counts! In support of Better Speech and Hearing Month, today’s blog is dedicated to early intervention in stroke.
Did you know that stroke is the number five cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States? One of the biggest factors in how a stroke impacts the victim and how likely they are to survive is time: if you think that you or a loved one is having a stroke, it’s essential to get to a hospital and get professional medical help as soon as possible. However, this means that you need to be able to identify the signs of a stroke “FAST”. Use this simple strategy to help determine if someone is having a stroke, and you could save a life:
Face: Stroke often causes facial asymmetry: this means that one side of the face is weaker than the other. Ask the person to smile, and see if one side of their face droops. You can also ask them to stick their tongue straight out; if it goes to the side instead of straight, they may be having a stroke.
Arms: Ask the person to hold their arms straight out in front of them. If a person is having a stroke, they will often experience weakness on one side of their body, so one arm will drift downward.
Speech: Difficulty with speech is a classic sign of stroke. Ask the person to repeat a short phrase. If their speech is slurred, difficult to understand, or it takes effort for them to repeat the phrase, they may be having a stroke.
Time: If you see any of the above symptoms, call 911 immediately. There are medications and interventions that a doctor can administer to help decrease the impact of a stroke, but many are only effective immediately after a stroke. Learn the symptoms, and get help as soon as possible: Early Intervention Counts!
If you have any questions or would like to know more about speech-language therapy, give me a call at (212) 308-7725 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have.
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