Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in America, and the leading cause of severe, long-term disability. Someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and there are 795,000 new or recurrent strokes annually. In the event of a stroke, immediate emergency medical treatment can greatly reduce the risk of brain injury and disability, making a remarkable difference in one's recovery, yet less than one-third of Americans can correctly identify a single warning sign of stroke.
This campaign, which began in April 2003, aims to inform the public of the sudden signs of stroke and enforce the message that calling 9-1-1 at these first signs is critical in potentially lessening the devastating results of a stroke.
The latest PSAs use the acronym F.A.S.T., an easy to remember tool to educate friends, family and community of those at risk of stroke on the warning signs of stroke and the importance of taking immediate action upon recognition (calling 911). F.A.S.T. stands for Face (facial drooping), Arms (arm weakness), Speech (speech difficulty), and Time (time to call 911). Individuals are directed to www.strokeassociation.org to learn more about the consequences and warning signs of stroke.