American Stroke Association urges everyone to learn F.A.S.T during American Stroke Awareness Month

Robbinsville, NJ - With a stroke, minutes can mean the difference between a positive or negative outcome. Unfortunately, too many people miss the signs of stroke and go without medical attention for hours-sometimes days-after suffering a stroke. That's why the American Stroke Association is urging everyone to learn the warning signs of stroke during May, American Stroke Awareness Month.

On average, every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke and every four minutes, someone dies of a stroke. Together To End Stroke, nationally sponsored by Covidien and locally sponsored by Capital Health, is the American Stroke Association's national initiative to bring awareness that stroke largely preventable, treatable and beatable. Stressing the importance of reducing risk while knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke, the American Stroke Association is determined to reach their goal of building healthier lives by reducing disability and death from stroke by 20 percent by 2020.

When it comes to knowing the stroke warning signs, only about two out of three Americans can correctly identify at least one sign. Together to End Stroke is helping Americans more easily recognize the stroke warning signs that come on suddenly through a quick and easy acronym--F.A.S.T.

F.A.S.T. is a simple way to remember some of the warning signs of a stroke and the importance of getting medical help immediately.

            F-Face Drooping

            A-Arm Weakness

            S-Speech Difficulty

            T-Time to Call 9-1-1  

"With a stroke, time matters," notes Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu, director of the Capital Institute for Neurosciences at Capital Health and a member of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Associations Central and Southern New Jersey Board. "The quicker a stroke victim receives medical attention, the less like there is the chance for long term damage. So it is important to call 9-1-1 as soon as humanly possible."

Although stroke is our nation's No. 4 leading cause of death and leading cause of long term disability, research suggests that nearly 80% of strokes may be prevented if certain risk factors are controlled, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and physical inactivity.

"The best thing you can do for yourself is to live a healthy lifestyle," continues Dr. Veznedaroglu. "Eating healthy, exercising and getting regular check-ups with your doctors won't only make you feel better now, it could save your life in the future."

The American Stroke Association offers free resources to help educate the public about stroke. Download information by visiting or call 1-888-4STROKE.