According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke is a leading cause of death for Americans. On average, one American dies from stroke every three and a half minutes. The MemorialCare Stroke Center at Long Beach Medical Center sees one of the highest volume of patients, with stroke, in Los Angeles County. We have a leading comprehensive stroke center, with a care team dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of stroke.
Unfortunately, when it comes to a stroke there may be no warning signs that you can catch over time. Rather the signs can come on quickly – within a matter of minutes. If you suspect that you or a loved one has had a stroke you need to act fast. Knowing the signs of a stroke could help save a life. To recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke remember the acronym: BEFAST
B: Balance – sudden loss of balance and coordination
E: Eyes – sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision
F: Face drooping – does one side of the face drop or is it numb
A: Arm or leg weakness – numbness especially on one side of the body
S: Speech difficulty – sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
T: Time – stroke is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately
Quick treatment and early intervention not only improve your chances of survival but may reduce complications as related to a stroke. Even better, is to avoid a stroke. Below are some tips on how to prevent a stroke from happening.
Knowing your stroke risk factors.
Following your doctor’s recommendations and living a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take to prevent a stroke. But it’s also key to having an open and honest conversation with your doctor to learn of what your risk factors may be.
Stroke risk factors generally fall into two categories: lifestyle or controllable risk factors and uncontrollable risk factors. Lifestyle risk factors can often be changed, and some controllable risk factors can usually be treated. Both types can be managed best by working with your doctor, who can prescribe medications and advise on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Controllable Risk Factors:
- High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
- Atrial Fibrillation
- High Cholesterol
Uncontrollable Risk Factors
- Family History
Lifestyle Risk Factors:
- Tobacco Use and Smoking
- Alcohol Use
- Physical Inactivity
Exercising regularly, monitoring your weight, eating healthy, and not smoking all help. It helps lower your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and more. Leading an overall healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of stroke.
The MemorialCare Stroke Center at Long Beach Medical Center is committed to helping the community live healthy lives and provides helpful information and care to prevent a stroke. And if you happen to have a stroke, the MemorialCare Stroke Center is a Joint Commissioned Certified Stroke Center, meaning it has specialists available 24/7 for immediate care, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up rehabilitation for all types of strokes.
To learn more visit Memorialcare.org/LBStroke.