Spreading Stroke Awareness
By Greg Friese
With May being National Stroke Awareness Month, it's a good time for EMS providers to remember the active role they should be playing in stroke awareness and prevention.
This can include:
1. Teaching patients and community members about stroke signs and symptoms. Include a link to the National Stroke Awareness Month Web site on your organization’s Web site.
2. Always stressing in community education and prevention programs the importance of calling 911 if stroke signs are present. Treatment of ischemic strokes is dependent on assessment and treatment within 3 hours.
3. Encouraging patients with high blood pressure and other stroke risk factors to work with their personal physician to lessen their risk.
All EMS providers should use a stroke screening tool on suspected stroke patients. Document and report the stroke screen findings. Follow your local protocols to use the Cincinnati Stroke Scale or Los Angeles Prehospital Stroke Screen.
F.A.S.T. stroke assessment is a simple method for lay persons to determine if stroke signs are present, and you can read more about this at EverydayEmsTips.com.
In addition, you can learn more about stroke from the American Stroke Association.