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BE FAST and Recognize the Signs of Stroke

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. That means a good chance exists that you can help someone during your lifetime, so it’s smart to know what to look for and what to do.

Why is being ready so important? By learning to BE FAST, you can help prevent long-term disability or even death. BE FAST stands for:

  • Balance: Do they have a sudden loss of balance?
  • Eyes: Have they lost vision in one or both eyes?
  • Face Drooping: Have them smile. Is one side of their face drooping?
  • Arm Weakness: When their arms are raised, is one arm drifting downward?
  • Speech Difficulty: When they talk, are they difficult to understand?
  • Time to Call 911: If they show any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

About Centegra’s Stroke Centers

Centegra Health System offers high quality stroke care at all of its hospitals. Centegra Hospital-McHenry and Centegra Hospital-Woodstock received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus achievement award. Centegra Hospital-Huntley earned the Get With The Guidelines Stroke Silver Plus achievement award. Silver recognizes performance of 12 consecutive months. Gold recognizes performance of 24 consecutive months or more. Silver Plus and Gold Plus Quality Awards are advanced levels of recognition acknowledging hospitals for consistent compliance with quality measures.

After a patient enters a Centegra emergency room, they are diagnosed for stroke type:

  • Ischemic: An artery is blocked (the majority of strokes are this type)
  • Hemorrhagic: A blood vessel in the brain has burst

If the patient is diagnosed with an acute ischemic stroke, Emergency Department staff administers a drug called tissue plasminogen activator or tPA that breaks up the blood clot and can decrease disability after a stroke. Yet tPA needs to be promptly administered in a maximum of 4 1/2 hours from when stroke symptoms first appeared. If a patient is diagnosed with a hemorrhagic stroke, Centegra provides surgical services and determines any further treatment the patient requires.

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