Stroke signs: think fast

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If you or someone in your family were having a stroke, would you know it? (KFSN)

If you or someone in your family were having a stroke, would you know it? According to the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association, "stroke" recently slipped from the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. to fifth. Health experts say it's still crucial to ensure people know the signs, which can often be subtle and misleading.

Secily Wilson, 49, has made a living with her face and her voice.

Ten years ago, the Orlando television personality suffered a stroke on-air.

"It was lights, camera, but no action. The words did not come out of my mouth," Wilson told ABC30.

Wilson had just reported on the warning signs of stroke: exhaustion, dizziness, headaches, slurred speech and confusion. She had been feeling all of those and ignoring them.

"I just dismissed each and every one of them simply as you're just stressed," Wilson told ABC30.

During a stroke, blood to a portion of the brain is usually interrupted.

Stroke Neurologist at Florida Hospital, Evan Allen, MD, MBA, told ABC30, "That's why you get numbness or weakness on one side of the body."

Allen says stroke symptoms can be very subtle. He says think "FAST" to identify the warning signs. The "F" is for Face.

"Face refers to the fact that often with stroke, one side of the face will droop," Allen told ABC30.

Arms may feel weak on one side, Speech is slurred and Time is critical. For every four minutes that help is delayed, a patient is 1 percent less likely to fully recover.

Wilson says she's making her days count right now as an advocate for the Heart Association, educating others about the signs.

Wilson suffered two additional strokes since her first at age 39. She has recovered from her most recent, which was just a few months ago. She says it's important to note that she doesn't have the traditional risk factors of stroke patients; she doesn't smoke, she's not overweight and she is physically fit. That's why she says it's crucial that people know how to identify the signs and symptoms of stroke.

For more information, contact:

Leslie-Ann Potter
Florida Hospital Marketing
Related Topics:
healthhealth watchhealth carestroke
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