Posted In Classes and Events on April 05, 2012
Learn the symptomsOne crucial piece of information that panelist Dr. Bird hopes everyone will learn about strokes: “When you have symptoms, don’t wait for them to go away. Go straight to the emergency room. Time means brain. The longer treatment is delayed, the more difficult stroke symptoms are to treat.” More than 30 percent of people on the Lower Shore have risk factors for stroke — but still many people don’t know when they are at risk, nor are they aware of the symptoms. To spare yourself or a loved one from the most devastating effects a stroke can bring, learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke. Learn FAST: F — Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop? A — Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? S — Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange? T — Time: If you observe any of these signs, then it’s time to call 9-1-1. Why is the danger of stroke so great on Delmarva? Demographics — the region’s high percentage of older people — make a difference. Family history, age and race all play a role in stroke risk. But Dr. Bird notes that lifestyle causes many of the problems he sees. “Fried chicken, oysters — we love them on Delmarva, but they can come back to haunt you,” he says. The often-preventable problems of high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, obesity, heart disease and diabetes contribute to stroke risk. Smoking, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol use can also raise risks significantly. In the Seaford area, when the CDC took a poll in 2010 asking whether respondents had participated in a physical activity in the past month, more than 25 percent said no. According to the CDC’s most recent Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey results, adults in Maryland reported the following risk factors for heart disease and stroke:
- 29.1% had high blood pressure
- 36.9% of those screened reported having high blood cholesterol
- 8.4% had diabetes
- 17.1% were current smokers
- 62.7% were overweight or obese
- 51.8% reported no exercise in the prior 30 days
- 73.4% ate fruit and vegetables less than 5 times a day.
- What: Stroke Support Panel
- When: May 1, 1-3 p.m.
- Where: Hallowell Conference Center Room A, Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Salisbury
- Register: 410-912-7961