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Doctor says ‘time is brain’- World Stroke Day 2021

(WHSV)
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 10:30 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Friday, October 29 is recognized as World Stroke Day. Health experts urge everyone to know the signs of a stroke and remember to B.E. F.A.S.T.

“Every letter describes a stroke-like symptom,” Dr. Karoly Varga, the stroke medical director at Sentara RMH, explained.

B - Balance: Can the person keep their balance?

E - Eyes: Any change in vision? Double vision?

F - Face: Look for droopiness or asymmetrical face.

A - Arm: Can the person lift their arms up? Do the arms drop or drift?

S - Speech: Slurred or garbled speech? (Dr. Vargo says this symptom calls for immediate medical attention.)

T - Time: When it comes to a stroke, time is critical and can make a huge difference in what happens to the patient.

Stroke specialists are able to evaluate the patient’s brain to decide which treatment is best.

“If there is a problem with blood circulation in certain brain areas and the blood circulation is completely shut down, then that brain area is dead within three to five minutes,” Dr. Vargo said.

Dr. Vargo says the goal is to restore the blood circulation for the surrounding areas of the brain as fast as possible.

“The process of a stroke doesn’t start when the blood circulation stops,” Dr. Vargo said.

Dr. Vargo says some risk factors of strokes are high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and recently sleep apnea.

“These are factors that can be and should be treated because if they go untreated for years and years, they can and will damage blood vessels. This is what can lead to stroke,” Dr. Vargo explained.

To find more information about the care of stroke patients at Sentara RMH, click here.

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