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May Is National Stroke Awareness Month

Robert F. Spohrer

Taking Action to Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

Caused whenever blood flow to the brain is cut off, a stroke is an incredibly serious medical event: In fact, strokes are the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of permanent disability in the United States. Although strokes are considered to be preventable and treatable, the death rate has increased slightly in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Because May is National Stroke Awareness Month, our legal team here at Spohrer Dodd wanted to shed some light on this important issue and offer a few tips to reduce your risk of a stroke. By acting “F.A.S.T.” to identify the signs and symptoms of stroke in your loved ones, you may also be able to save their life and preserve some of their basic functions.

Here are some recommended ways to lower your odds of a major stroke:

  • Stop smoking. For smokers, the number one most important factor in reducing the risk of stroke is to stop smoking cigarettes or using nicotine products. Your doctor can provide resources and advice on how to quit smoking for good.
  • Stay proactive with your health. Some health conditions – such as diabetes and atrial fibrillation (heart palpitations) – are strongly linked to stroke, as they make it easier for blood clots to form. Stay on top of these conditions and ask your doctor how you can manage your stroke risk.
  • Drink in moderation. The risk of stroke dramatically increases when you start drinking more than two drinks a day. Stick to a single daily drink on average to lower your risk of stroke, and when selecting alcohol, aim for red wine, which has some heart-healthy compounds like resveratrol.
  • Be informed about your family history. While genes may not be the primary cause of stroke, your family history can still increase your chances. Knowing about a shared history of stroke may prompt you to make healthier choices in the long run, too!
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight and low blood pressure – both key factors in preventing stroke. Most health experts recommend exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week at moderate intensity.

Of course, even if you follow all these recommendations and stay active, there’s always a chance that you or your loved ones could suffer a stroke someday. Because treatment outcomes improve significantly when the victim gets immediate medical attention, the CDC recommends using the acronym F.A.S.T. to confirm when someone is having a stroke.

F.A.S.T. stands for the following:

  • Face: Is one side of the victim’s face drooping when they smile?
  • Arms: Does one of the victim’s arms droop down when asked to lift their arms?
  • Speech: Does the victim’s speech sound slurred or odd in any way?
  • Time: If all three conditions have been met, it’s time to call 911 or emergency medical services.

Suffered a Stroke Injury Because of Negligence?

While there are many possible reasons for a stroke, some of them may be more than just preventable: In certain cases, strokes may be caused or aggravated by another person’s negligence. Whether you’ve been the victim of a costly medical error or a lack of prompt stroke care at a nursing home, our personal injury lawyers at Spohrer Dodd can represent you and your loved ones when you’ve been hurt by a stroke.

Our nationally-recognized trial lawyers are here to advocate for stroke victims in Florida and beyond. Call us today at (904) 637-7721 to schedule a free consultation.