May is American Stroke Month so it’s a good time to discuss the potential warning signs. Dr. Shany David, a neurologist with Health Quest Medical Practice in Kingston, says, “Don’t ignore any sudden onset weakness or numbness, loss of vision, sudden dizziness or difficulty speaking or slurring of speech. Even if stroke-like symptoms are brief, patients should get to the hospital immediately. Their risk of stroke is high and they need treatment.”

Identifying the signs of stroke and calling 911 can make a difference

Public awareness of signs and symptoms of stroke remains poor1

  • Calling 911 within 1 hour of symptom onset is done in fewer than 50% of stroke cases
  • Fewer than 50% of callers knew they were calling about a stroke-related symptom
  • In spite of proven benefits of 911 and emergency medical services (EMS) use, a National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) showed that only 53% of stroke patients used EMS