José Biller, MD
Neurology & Neurosurgery
Stroke is the leading cause of disability and the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States. Yet, it is largely treatable if help is reached in time, and it is highly preventable.
A stroke is not a cerebrovascular accident. It is an event that occurs because of a variety of individual risks, many of which can be controlled or eliminated.
In addition, a stroke can be treated or stopped through the use of clot-busting drugs and medical devices. But every second counts.
By teaching the warning signs of stroke, such as through the abbreviation F.A.S.T., we have raised awareness of stroke symptoms and the need for immediate treatment. Unfortunately, it remains common for time to be lost and treatment to be delayed needlessly.
One reason is that stroke symptoms may not seem serious and may not last long. When someone has a heart attack, pain is a major symptom, it is easily recognized as serious, and it is treated urgently. During a “brain attack,” the symptoms may not seem serious, may not last long and may be attributed to something other than stroke. Some stroke sufferers will go to bed to try to feel better.
However, if you do not seek help immediately, you are wasting precious time, and we know that time is brain.