Stroke Awareness: Do you know the signs?

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Despite the fact that I have been a Mayo Clinic employee for almost 19 years, and have worked for over five of those years with our comprehensive Stroke Center, I was shocked to find out that I didn’t know all the signs and symptoms of stroke!

It’s not just slurred speech or drooping of the face. Did you know that sudden vision loss or blurriness can be a sign of an impending stroke? So, too, can difficulties swallowing.

A recent study by some of my colleagues in Rochester showed that almost 60 percent of patients who came to the emergency room with symptoms didn’t believe they were having a stroke. And most didn’t go to the emergency room when their symptoms first appeared. The patients said they thought the symptoms would simply go away.

Stroke can be treated. But you have to be diagnosed first. The key is to recognize the signs and get to an emergency room.  I encourage everyone to read more about stroke and be aware. It could happen to you.

This post was written by Suzanne Shaw, nurse administrator at Mayo Clinic’s comprehensive Stroke Center in Florida.

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