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 encourages heart attack and stroke survivors to takes steps for secondary prevention. Reducing risk of another event and staying as healthy as possible is more important than ever to avoid busy hospitals. Also, stroke survivors and people with heart disease may face increased risk for complications if they get COVID-19.
After a heart attack or stroke, as many as 1 in 4 survivors will have another one. Lifestyle changes and working closely with your doctor to manage your health can help minimize the risk of a repeat event.
Up to 80% of ischemic strokes and heart attacks may be prevented with medication (which may include aspirin as recommended by a doctor), and daily routines that help manage your high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Your doctor can help you get started.
Heart attack and stroke are medical emergencies. 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. Emergency medical responders can assess symptoms, begin treatment in the ambulance, and transport the patient to the most appropriate hospital, if necessary.
Hospitals have plans in place to keep potentially contagious patients away from others and keep surfaces clean. Calling 9-1-1 and activating Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will ensure that patients have the best possible chance to beat a heart attack or stroke.
As many in the nation face extended time at home, it is possible that stroke or heart attack warning signs may go unnoticed. It is important to check on those who live alone, regularly. Speaking on the phone or video calls can give important clues about common stroke warning signs, which can be remembered using the acronym F.A.S.T.: F for face drooping, A for arm weakness, S for speech difficulty and T meaning it is time to call 911.
The American Heart Association has resources to learn more about stroke warning signs, prevention and treatment. Download our free American Stroke Month community resource toolkit here:
01 – Letter, Brain Health, ASM, HBP Resource Kit
02 – Table of Contents, 2020 ASM-HBP Resource Kit
03 – Take Action- 2020 ASMonth and National HBP Month
04 – ASM 2020 Prevention, Messaging ToolkitFINAL
05 – Stroke – FAST Infographic – NEW 04.2019
06 – Stroke, HA I Will Prevent, Secondary Prev 2020
07 – Stroke – AFib Can Happen To Anyone
08 – Stroke – Women Higher Risk for Stroke
09 – Stroke – Control Risk Factors for Brain Health Infographic
11 – Brain – Stop Stress In Its Tracks
12 – Brain – Fight Stress With Healthy Habits
13 – Brain – Resilience in the Workplace
14 – Brain – Loving-Kindness Meditation
15 – Brain – 21 Days of Gratitude
16 – Brain – Clean Up Your Sleep Hygiene
17 – BP – LS7 How To Manage Blood Pressure
18 – BP – LTAS, High Blood Pressure and Stroke
19 – BP – ABH, What is High Blood Pressure
20 – BP – Consequences of High Blood Pressure
21 – BP – Blood Pressure Measurements Instructions
22 – BP – Infographic, 7 Tips for Accurate BP Measuring
23 – BP – Infographic, What Can I Do To Improve My BP
24 – BP – ABH, Why Should I Limit Sodium
25 – BP – Guide for Conversation With Your Doctor
26 – BP – ABH, What Is High Blood Pressure Medicine
27 – BP – FREE AHACheckChangeControl BP Program
28 – Other – Online SUPPORT Network (virtual ‘warm blanket’)