Did you know that May is the Blood Pressure Awareness Month?
The Arkansas Department of Health published a fact sheet stating: High blood pressure (hypertension) is associated with 70% of all new stroke cases, and is one of the several major causes of heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, and end stage kidney disease. A large number of adults in Arkansas have high blood pressure.
The heart disease and stroke death rates in Arkansas are among the highest in the United States. In 2001, the most recent year for which data are available, crude death rates from cardiovascular diseases and stroke were 305.9 per 100,000 and 83.6 per 100,000 respectively in Arkansas, compared to 246.8 per 100,000 and 67.4 per 100,000 for the US as a whole (Arkansas Department of Health website). Even after adjusting for age differences using age-adjusted mortality rates, in 2001 the Arkansas mortality rates from heart disease and stroke were 12% and 31% higher than the national average.
When it comes to sudden illnesses it is extremely important to know the signs and symptoms of stroke in order to provide important lifesaving first aid. Through the CDC, the national statistics are reporting in 2015 that more than 54% of the population over age 65 and 62% of the population over age 75 have hypertension which is a precursor to stroke. Knowing about the acronym FAST can be valuable in recognizing and getting help to a person that may be suffering from a stroke.
The national stroke association gives you a great example to:
FAST is an easy way to remember and identify the most common symptoms of a stroke. Recognition of stroke and calling 9-1-1 will determine how quickly someone will receive help and treatment. Getting to a hospital rapidly will more likely lead to a better recovery.
Use FAST to Remember the Warning Signs of a Stroke
|FACE:||Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?|
|ARMS:||Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?|
|SPEECH:||Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?|
|TIME:||If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.|
How can you be prepared? Take a first aid class. First aid classes will teach you what to look for and give you the guide to get help for anyone who maybe suffering from a stroke due to high blood pressure. A CPR class can help guide you and teach you what to do for someone who has high blood pressure that has led to a heart attack or cardiac arrest.