Do you know what you should do if you suspect someone is having a stroke? Time is of the essence as a stroke requires immediate attention.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. It occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts or, more commonly, when a blockage develops. Without proper emergency treatment, cells in the brain begin to die quickly. The result can be serious disability or death.
To help spread the word about the signs and symptoms of stroke, and what preventative measures people can take, members of Kaiser Permanente’s Stroke Steering Committee will be at the Kaiser Permanente Farmers’ Market in Walnut Creek the 4th Tuesday of every month. Staff will also be on hand at the Kaiser Permanente Farmers’ Market in Antioch as well.
“We want to educate the Kaiser Permanente community and everyone visiting our hospital and farmers’ market about stroke,” said Denise Omen, RPh, quality director for Kaiser Permanente’s Walnut Creek Medical Center. Stroke is an urgent situation and people need to know the signs and symptoms because time lost is brain lost.”
So what should you do if you think someone is having a stroke? Act F.A.S.T.
F -- Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A -- Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S -- Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T -- Time. If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Kaiser Permanente’s Walnut Creek and Antioch Medical Centers are both Primary Stroke Centers certified by The Joint Commission. That means physicians and nurses have been specially trained to meet the unique and specialized needs of stroke patients.
“Our goal is for everyone to recognize the signs of stroke,” said Omen. “Everyone should know the signs and symptoms and everyone can take steps now to reduce their risk factors.”
The Farmers' Market at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Walnut Creek runs Tuesdays from 10am-2pm.
For more information on stroke, visit: kp.org/stroke.