(Washington, DC) – The DC Department of Health today released an information sheet designed to help residents more rapidly recognize the signs of stroke.
“Recognizing and responding immediately to the warning signs of stroke can significantly improve survival and recovery,” said Gregg A. Pane, MD, Director, DC Department of Health. “We are hopeful that this information sheet will help District residents appropriately respond and react when they see warning signs.”
Developed by the Office of Communications and Community Relations, in partnership with the department’s Cardiovascular Health program, the sheet highlights the use of acronyms to help citizens remember how to identify strokes.
“Stroke is the third leading cause of death among District residents, but this doesn’t have to be the case,” said Vance Farrow, manager of DOH’s Cardiovascular Program. “There is no substitute for exercising and eating healthy, but we must also empower ourselves with education because with a stroke, every second counts!”
Strategies outlined in the information sheet include the use of the acronym F.A.S.T.:
The information sheet also highlights a new sign of stroke that calls for asking the potential victim to stick out their tongue, said Leila Abrar, director of DOH’s Office of Communications and Community Relations. “If the tongue is ‘crooked’ – if it goes to one side or the other – that is also an indication of stroke.
- Face – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech – Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence coherently (ie “it is sunny outside today.”)
- Time – If the person shows any symptoms, time is important. Call 9-1-1- immediately.
“In most cases, if the stroke victim receives appropriate medical care within three hours of the stroke, the effects of the stroke can be totally reversed,” she added. “That’s why we wanted to get this valuable information out to the public as soon as possible.”
For more information call the Department of Health’s Call Center at (202) 671-5000, or download the flyer*.