SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Northwest Health along with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) IDHI Stroke Program are recognizing World Stroke Day on October 29 in an effort to raise awareness and provide information to help recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

According to a press release from Northwest Health, creating stroke awareness can help save stroke victims from possible disabilities or even save lives.

The release suggests that learning the acronym BEFAST could save a life when stroke signs and symptoms are recognized early:

  • B – Balance: Is there a sudden loss of balance?
  • E – Eyes: Is there a change in vision in one or both eyes?
  • F – Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or look uneven?
  • A – Arm Weakness: Does one arm feel weak or drift downward?
  • S – Speech Difficulty: Does their speech sound strange or slurred?
  • T – Time to call 911: If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.

About one in four people worldwide will have a stroke in their lifetime, according to the American Heart Association. A press release from the Association states that research shows that while most people say they would call 911 in a stroke emergency, real-world data shows that up to 75% of those experiencing a stroke first called friends or family, thinking their symptoms were not serious and would go away on their own.

The Northwest Health release notes that the risk factors for a stroke include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • Atrial fibrillation (AFib)
  • Smoking
  • Family history

As of 2019, Arkansas ranks 13th in acute stroke deaths, which is an improvement from its previous rank of ninth in 2018.

For more information visit NorthwestHealth.com/Stroke-Care.