As hospitals, health professionals and healthcare systems, governments and leaders work to reduce community spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. and protect the most vulnerable individuals, the American Heart Association offers further tips for heart attack and stroke survivors regarding secondary prevention. May is American Stroke Month and the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, wants you to know that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.
Reports are showing that people who have heart disease or survived a stroke may be more vulnerable to serious complications as a result of COVID-19. It is important to know that stroke can affect individuals of all ages, please know the signs and symptoms and ACT FAST (F– face drooping, A – arm weakness, S- speech difficulties, T- time to call 9-1-1). Even as COVID-19 cases strain emergency medicine, experts say calling 9-1-1 is still the best way to access life-saving treatments for people who are experiencing heart attack or stroke symptoms.
“Heart attack and stroke are medical emergencies,” said Helene Thibodeau, DNP, RN, CRRN, NEA-BC, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer of Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital Network. “If someone is experiencing stroke or heart attack symptoms, they should still call 9-1-1. Emergency medical responders can assess their symptoms, begin treatment in the ambulance, and transport the patient to the most appropriate hospital, if necessary. The healthcare community continues to be prepared for non-COVID and COVID-related emergencies. The most important step is to take action. Please don’t wait. Moments matter.”
To prevent stroke and secondary stroke, a healthy lifestyle is our greatest weapon, check out these tips that will make a difference in your health!
- Keep follow-up doctor’s appointments and take recommended medication
- Ask your doctor about cardiac or stroke rehabilitation programs that are right for you
- Manage your risk factors with small, healthy steps for a big impact
- Call 9-1-1 if you see or have any stroke or heart attack warning signs or symptoms
Stroke is preventable, treatable and beatable. For more information, please visit Stroke.Org.