Recognizing the signs of a stroke could save a life

Dr. Kerry Ahrens, emergency medicine physician at Aurora BayCare Medical Center and Dan Gatz, firefighter and paramedic with City of De Pere Fire Department discuss the signs of a stroke.

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- May is American Stroke Month. Do you know the signs that someone could be having a stroke? Area medical experts say it's helpful to remember the words BE FAST. Dr. Kerry Ahrens, emergency medicine physician at Aurora BayCare Medical Center and Dan Gatz, firefighter and paramedic with City of De Pere Fire Department joined Rachel Manek on Good Day Wisconsin with some life saving advice.

B - Balance (Sudden loss of balance)

E - Eyes (Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes)

F - Face (Ask a person to smile. Does one side of the face sag or droop?)

A - Arms (Ask a person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?)

S - Speech (Ask the person to repeat a single sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?)

T - Time (Seconds matter. Call 911 or get to the nearest primary stroke center or hospital.)

Ahrens says it’s vital to call 9-1-1 as soon as you believe a loved one is experiencing a stroke. Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke (CDC) and, since 1.9 million neurons are lost per minute, time is everything when it comes to the brain (AHA).

Gatz says EMS professionals and ambulances are best equipped to transport patients safely while prepping them for emergency stroke care. EMS teams are able to alert hospitals that they have a potential stroke patient on the way. This allows time for stroke treatment teams to quickly prepare imaging, equipment and the biplane room – all before the patient even arrives.

Aurora BayCare's Comprehensive Stroke Center has a team of neurointervention specialists that offer advanced stroke treatment.

For more information about Aurora BayCare’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, visit aurorabaycare.com/stroke.



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