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Warning Signs of a Stroke

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You May Save a Life

People with atrial fibrillation are at a much greater risk for a stroke than people without atrial fibrillation. This is a serious issue, because about 795,000 people suffer a stroke each year. Of these, about 140,000 will die from their stroke. Your risk of having a stroke doubles every decade after the age of 55, and becomes even more likely with pre-existing heart conditions that put strain on your body. It’s estimated that atrial fibrillation increases your chance of stroke fivefold.

Strokes are a very real danger, so we wanted to touch briefly on some stroke warning signs to help you recognize strokes as they are happening. Fortunately, with improved medical technology, a stroke caught early can result in minimal to no long-term effects. Strokes caught too late can cause irreversible damage and sometimes death.

The American Red Cross and the American Heart Association both use the same acronym for identifying a stroke: F.A.S.T.

F—Face

Is part of the face drooping? Does part of the face feel numb? If you suspect someone is having a stroke, ask them to smile. If the victim’s smile is crooked, that is a sign of stroke.

A—Arm

Ask the victim to raise both arms up. Is one arm dropping lower than the other? Is an arm numb or weak? If so, this is a strong sign of a stroke.

S—Speech

Does the victim have slurred or incoherent speech when they talk? If they are difficult to understand, they may be suffering a stroke.

T—Time

If the victim shows any of the first three symptoms, call 911 immediately and note the time that the symptoms began to manifest. Time is critical to minimizing the damage that will occur from the stroke. A few minutes can mean the difference between catching a stroke in time and having it be too late.

We hope you will remember the signs and the acronym F.A.S.T. Knowing the warning signs of strokes may just save the life of a loved one in the future. Stay on the lookout for an LAA Occluder from your friends at Coherex. The Occluder will help people with atrial fibrillation minimize chances of having a stroke.


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