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Every 45 seconds, someone in the United States experiences a stroke. May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Virginia Mason and the National Stroke Association urge you to take charge of your health by knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke, asking your doctor about stroke prevention and adopting healthy lifestyle habits.

Stroke is one of the most preventable of all life-threatening health problems, provided that you pay proper attention to lifestyle and medical risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. Treatment exists to help minimize the effects of a stroke, however it must be given within three hours of the first symptom. Recognizing stroke symptoms can be easy if you learn to think F.A.S.T.

F = Face 

Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A = Arms 

Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S = Speech   Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
T = Time  If you observe any of these signs, then it's time to call 911.

Stroke Prevention
The Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Clinic at Virginia Mason is a unique program whose mission is to reduce or eliminate the risk of heart attack and stroke in individuals. A team of specialists assists individuals in managing cholesterol and cholesterol medications and making lifestyle changes to reduce risk.

Stroke Treatment
Established in 2004, the award winning Stroke Center at Virginia Mason provides stroke services across the continuum of stroke care, including prevention, symptom recognition, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. 

The Stroke Center was recently recertified as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO). They have also received the "Get with the Guidelines Stroke Annual Performance Achievement Award" sponsored by the American Stroke Association.

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