May Designated As National Stroke Awareness Month

PRESS RELEASE

MAY DESIGNATED AS NATIONAL STROKE AWARENESS MONTH

According to the CDC, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in this country, and can be a cause of serious disability. 795,000 people will have a new or recurrent stroke each year and New Jersey ranks third in the number of strokes among residents. Often caused by uncontrolled high blood pressure, stroke is a medical emergency.

For most people, high blood pressure has no noticeable symptoms, but can cause the heart muscle to stretch and thicken. Over time hypertension may cause the heart to stop pumping effectively.  Organs such as the kidneys and brain are then deprived of oxygen and proper nutrients.

Health Officer Judith Migliaccio and the Paramus Board of Health would like you to know the warning signs of a stroke and acting FAST when they occur could save lives.

F = FACE * Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face drop?

A = ARMS * Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S = SPEECH * Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound  slurred or strange?

T = TIME * If you observe any of these signs (independently or together)

Call 9-1-1 immediately.

Hospital Emergency Rooms are often able to give “clotbusters” that can limit the serious side effects of a stroke, but to be effective, these drugs must be given relatively quickly after heart attack or stroke symptoms first appear.

High blood pressure can happen to anyone.  Individuals are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure if they are overweight, smoke, have a diet high in fat, lack exercise, use alcohol heavily, are sensitive to salt in their diet or under emotional stress. Post-menopausal women are more likely to be found with high blood pressure than their younger sisters, and sometimes it runs in families. It’s just as likely, though, that someone can have high blood pressure and not even know it.

High blood pressure is easily identifiable. Board of Health member Noor Mahmood invites you to participate in a hypertension/stroke screening offered by the Paramus Board of Health nurses. Residents are welcome to have their blood pressure checked at Borough Hall on Tuesday, May 2nd from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. and from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.