Learn the warning signs of stroke and why it’s best to dial 911

  • Thursday, May 23, 2019 9:07am
  • Life

By MultiCare Health System

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Stroke can happen to anyone, at any age and at any time.

On average, someone in the United States suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

A stroke occurs when not enough oxygen-rich blood is reaching part of the brain. The usual result of a stroke is paralysis of one side of the body. A stroke is an emergency situation and, like a heart attack, requires immediate medical attention. Health care providers caution that “time is brain.” About 1.9 million brain cells die each minute during a stroke.

It’s important to learn the warning signs of a stroke so you can help save a life and reduce the physical repercussions and recovery time.

Time is tissue

With stroke, every minute counts. People who delay seeking medical care for more than one hour after experiencing stroke symptoms have a much higher likelihood of permanent damage to brain tissue, disability and death. So it’s critical that patients get the treatment they need as soon as possible.

Warning signs of stroke: be fast

• Balance: Loss of balance or coordination

• Eyes: Changes in vision

• Face: Look for an uneven smile

• Arms: Check if one arm is weak or drifts downward when raised

• Speech: Listen for slurred speech

• Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 right away

Why dial 911? It’s safer

You may think driving a patient to the nearest hospital is the fastest and most helpful response, but there are clear advantages to dialing 911.

The biggest advantage is that by calling 911, the emergency medical services team can assess and route patients to the best hospital for their condition and they will give the hospital advance notice of the patient’s arrival.

This advance notice triggers a “code neuro” over the hospital PA system and initiates a system of rapid responses so that diagnostics and treatment begin immediately upon arrival.

If the patient deteriorates during transport in a private vehicle and no one is able to provide lifesaving interventions and medication, the driver would have to pull off the road and then call 911 for assistance.

Remember, a stroke can happen at any time. It could happen to a friend or family member or someone you observe in a grocery store. If you remember to be fast and dial 911, you could save someone’s life.

MultiCare Health System is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 18,000 employees, providers and volunteers.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

Auburn woman finds her calling in military aviation

Abigail Gooch is now on standby duty with the Washington National Guard.

Relay for Life of South King County moves online

American Cancer Society donations to be taken during May 30 virtual gathering

Auburn Symphony Orchestra announces 2020-21 season

Begins with Summer Series scheduled to start June 21

Medic One Foundation’s Gratitude Meals offer support to first responders, local businesses

The initiative provides hearty lunches to first responders staffing the COVID-19 testing sites as they work to test their colleagues.

‘Don’t assume it can’t happen to you’

Federal Way resident Evelyn Allcorn shares story of her husband’s battle with COVID-19 after he tested positive on March 28.

Auburn dance studio finds creative solutions to keep going during COVID-19

Pacific Ballroom Dance moves to online classes; group returned home early from national competition

Poetry at Rainbow Café cancels meeting, setting up streaming program for April 6

Poetry at the Rainbow Café has canceled its April 6 meeting for… Continue reading

KCLS ends ebook boycott with Macmillan Publishers

System will resume purchasing new eBooks from Macmillan and its publishing imprints

Rock Group STYX, from left: Chuck Panozzo, Ricky Phillips, Todd Sucherman, Tommy Shaw, James “J.Y.” Young and Lawrence Gowan. COURTESY PHOTO, Rick Diamond/Getty Images for STYX)
State Fair welcomes classic rock artists Styx and REO Speedwagon on Sept. 23

Legendary rock artists Styx and REO Speedwagon perform at the Washington State… Continue reading

Auburn Symphony Orchestra Gala postponed; concert cancelled

Due to the escalating situation surrounding COVID-19, including Gov. Inslee’s most recent… Continue reading