BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — World Stroke Day, on Oct. 29, is meant to bring awareness to the signs of stroke and the appropriate action to take. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and remains a leading cause of permanent disability.
Many adults do not think they are at risk for stroke or reduced brain function, but the reality is that nearly half of all adults in America have high blood pressure and if gone untreated, is one of the most common causes of stroke, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Dr. Rani Whitfield (a.k.a Hip Hop Doc) says a simple way to remember how to spot signs of a stroke are by using the acronym, F.A.S.T. which stands for:
- Facial drooping: A section of the face, usually only on one side, that is drooping and hard to move. This can be recognized by a crooked smile.
- Arm weakness: The inability to raise one’s arm fully
- Speech difficulties: An inability or difficulty to understand or produce speech
- Time: If any of the symptoms above are showing, time is of the essence; call the emergency services or go to the hospital.
Dr. Whitfield also released a hip-hop video to help explain the signs of stroke. The song is titled, F.A.S.T. Song – Stroke Signs: featuring Dee-1 & Tha Hip Hop Doc.
In the Capital Area, the AHA has prioritized healthy eating and improving access to affordable, healthy foods because healthy eating can help prevent stroke and heart disease. The New Orleans and Baton Rouge area chapter of AHA have partnered locally with Geaux Get Healthy and Top Box, according to senior regional director Donna Ashcraft.
AHA also works with local hospitals and stroke rehabilitation facilities to organize events, including Strokes for Stroke, where participants personalize their own version of a painting. Currently, the Strokes for Stroke art canvases are on display at Perkins Rowe.