Learn to Recognize a Stroke

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Heart Association, and EMMC is working to help decrease our patients' risks and improve their outcomes after stroke. The best way to prevent a stroke is to understand the risk factors that may lead to a stroke. You can change or treat some risk factors, but others you can’t. By having regular medical checkups and knowing your risk, you can focus on what you can change and lower your risk of stroke.

Gillian Gordon Perue, MD, stroke neurologist and medical director of EMMC’s Stroke Care, says the best way to maximize outcomes is through education, prevention, timely management, and optimizing recovery. 
Tarek Wazzan, MD, stroke neurologist, along with many members of our Stroke Team, work with Dr. Gordon Perue seeking the best outcomes for our patients. Early identification and treatment is best. If patients and their families and friends know the warning signs and get medical attention right away, they have an excellent chance of making a good recovery. Women especially need to know the warning signs, as they account for more than 60 percent of deaths from stroke.


F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you'll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. is:
f-face-drooping.jpg Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
a-arm-weakness.jpg Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
s-speech-difficulty.jpg Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
t-time-to-call-911.jpg Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.