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May is National Stroke Awareness Month: With a Stroke, Every Minute Counts

(May 12, 2014 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

Early identification of a stroke can lead to the best possible treatment. Two million brain cells die every minute during a stroke, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death. That's 3.6 years the brain ages for every hour of an acute stroke.

As a certified Primary Stroke Center, Monongahela Valley Hospital encourages you to know these warning signs and symptoms of stroke from the American Stroke Association:

Remember to act FAST:
F = FACE, does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile; is it uneven?
A = ARM, is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = SPEECH, Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand?
T = TIME, If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 911 or get them to the hospital immediately.

Other symptoms can include sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, sudden trouble walking; dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; sudden severe headache with no known cause or sudden numbness or weakness in the leg, arm or face.

Stroke is the number four cause of death and leading cause of long-term disability in the United States. A stroke happens an average of every 40 seconds, affecting 795,000 people a year but one in ten Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern, according to the American Stroke Association.

In addition to being Primary Stroke Center, MVH earned the American Heart Association's Get With the Guidelines® Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award for excellence in stroke care. The award is presented to hospitals that demonstrate improved stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines
.

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