Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Beloved “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Riverdale” star Luke Perry, 52, died March 4 after suffering from a massive stroke the week before. Since his death, stroke awareness, especially the warning signs and symptoms, have been brought into the spotlight. Would you know if you were having a stroke?

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and the second most common cause of death worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Stroke Association. It is also the leading cause of long-term disability. Not all risk factors for stroke are preventable, such as heredity, age, gender, and ethnicity, but some medical conditions—high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, overweight or obesity, and previous stroke—can also raise your risk. Choices you can make today to help reduce your risk, include eating a balanced diet, getting exercise and avoiding smoking and drinking too much alcohol.

A quick way to spot a stroke is with F.A.S.T., which stands for:

  • Face drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven or lopsided?
  • Arm weakness: Is the arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech difficultly: Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
  • Time to call 911: If the person shows ANY of these symptoms, even if the symptoms, go away, call 911 immediately. Stroke treatment can start as soon as the paramedics reach you. 

The CDC also shared some more symptoms including:

  • Sudden confusion
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Minutes matter when someone suffers a stroke. If you or a loved one appears to be having a stroke take action immediately.

Norman Regional’s advanced stroke care begins in the ambulance BEFORE you even arrive at our dedicated stroke care unit.

Norman Regional’s Stroke Center is nationally recognized as a leader in stroke outcomes and rehabilitation by The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and has been awarded the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. The Stroke Center was also awarded the Women’s Choice Award for one of America’s Best Stroke Centers in both 2017 and 2018.

Norman Regional’s Stroke Center is located within Norman Regional Hospital, 901 N. Porter Ave. in Norman. We hope you never need us, but if you do, our team of experts are here to get you to a healthier place.



[Sources: American Stroke Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]