Recognizing the warning signs of a stroke
SARASOTA- Fans are mourning the loss of 52-year-old Luke Perry who died after being hospitalized for a stroke. Doctors say this a reminder that strokes can occur at any age and everyone should know how to identify them. Doctor’s Hospital Emergency Medicine Physician Dr. Jeff Mara says remember to think FAST.
“F stands for face,” Dr. Mara said. “So facial drooping, A stands for arm weakness, actually it can be leg weakness as well, S stands for speech difficulty, and T stands for time to go to the hospital.”
Dr. Mara says people usually associate strokes with seniors, but seeing 52-year-olds like Luke Perry with strokes is normal.
“It can occur at any age,” Dr. Mara said. “And we are finding that strokes are happening somewhat earlier, in somewhat younger people, but generally the older you are the more likely it is to happen.”
Dr. Mara says talk to your primary care physicians because certain conditions can increase your risk for stroke, like diabetes, hypertension and smoking. If you know stroke symptoms and that you’re at risk, the faster you can start being treated.
“The sooner you can get to the hospital,” Dr. Mara said. “The more likely you are to be eligible to be treated, and the more effective the treatment may be.”
Dr. Mara says depending on the type of stroke, you may only have a three hour window to be treated.
“Not all types of strokes have treatment,” Dr. Mara said. “There are different types of strokes, some of them if there is caused by bleeding in the brain, then that’s completely different then the most common type of stroke which is a blockage of a blood vessel.”