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May is Stroke Awareness Month

How to recognize the signs
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Posted at 7:35 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 01:19:42-04

TUCSON, Ariz.(KGUN) — May is Stroke Awareness Month and Banner - University Medical Center has been going into the community to talk to local doctors, community leaders and businesses about what to look for.

Dr. Michah Etter is a vascular neurologist at the hospital, and focuses on treatment for patients who are recovering from a stroke. Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors that can cause a stroke. Dr. Etter says getting to the hospital as soon as you have an onset of symptoms can make all the difference in recovery.

"If one half of the face is droopy or not working or as strong as it might be. Arm weakness of one arm or the other. Difficultly pronouncing your words or expressing what your words are and having difficulty understanding what others are saying to you. Stroke can affect people of any age," Etter said.

"Certainly, older folks are at a higher risk mostly because of risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol these kinds of things, things that we don’t see in young people," said Etter. "Young people also get strokes for different reasons than older people. However, those strokes look exactly the same; weakness in one part of the body, changes in sensation in one part of the body.”

According to the CDC someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds and new treatments that weren’t available 25 years ago are now saving lives.

"We’ve got all kinds of medicines that we can use in addition to procedures where we go in and retrieve a blood clot that’s blocking a vessel, we can pull that out,” Etter said.

As for treatment, it can vary from person to person. Banner uses the BE-FAST strategy to help patients identify a stroke:

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Banner Hospital BE FAST outline

Recovery and treatment can vary depending on the person and lingering effects of a stroke.

"Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy these are the types of modalities that we work with to optimize recovery. Everybody’s stroke is different just like everybody’s treatment is a little bit different and everybody’s recovery is different,” Etter said.

CDC INFORMATION:

https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/facts.htm

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Shawndrea Thomas is an anchor and investigative reporter for KGUN 9. Shawndrea is living her dream as a journalist who’s passionate about making a difference. Share your story ideas and important issues with Shawndrea by emailing shawndrea.thomas@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.