ST. LOUIS - The brain requires a constant supply of oxygen in order to properly function. Since brain cells begin to die after just a few minutes without blood or oxygen, even a brief interruption in this supply can cause irreparable damage. FOX 2’s Dan Gray got lucky. Last year while at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital interviewing Dr. Niranjan Singh, an SSM Health neurologist, about the signs of stroke, Dan finished the interview and suddenly felt very light-headed.
Time is critical if you or someone you love is having a stroke. Dan had no prior symptoms that are typical of signs. Often, we hear the acronym FAST: Face is drooping, Arm drifts down or is numb, Speech is slurred or difficult to understand, Time call 911 for the best outcome.
Dan recalls having a sudden onset of dizziness, sweating and loss of balance. The next thing he knew, he had fallen on his back to the ground.
Dan got lucky. He was not only in a hospital, but he was at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, a Certified Stroke Center. And being immediately treated by a skilled neurologist who quickly evaluated him and got him to the ER for treatment.
Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. In fact, stroke is the cause of 1 out of every 20 deaths. It is also the leading cause of long-term disability. If you are having a stroke, every minute counts! To improve your chance of survival and minimize any long-term damage, you must act fast. Understanding the signs and symptoms of a stroke is the first step to getting the critical, life-saving care you need.
Next week, we’ll outline what happened once Dan was being treated and how Dr. Singh saved his life. To take the Stroke Health Risk Assessment, click here.
To learn more about stroke, click here.