GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – May is Stroke Awareness Month, and Metro Health- University of Michigan Health wants to remind you to B.E. F.A.S.T. That acronym could save lives when someone is having a stroke.  Every second counts to limit the risk of brain damage and death and knowing the signs of stroke is critical.

Early data indicates the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to an increase in fatal strokes in the United States.  Dr. Jeffrey Fletcher, who specializes in neurocritical care, neurology and vascular neurology,  says separation from families meant fewer opportunities for loved ones to notice the signs of stroke.

“It’s essential to recognize the signs of stroke and call 9-1-1 to get to the hospital as soon as possible because time is still brain”.  –Dr. Jeffrey Fletcher

Dr. Fletcher says when it comes to stroke prevention, limiting risk factors include mitigating the chance of getting COVID by following public health measures, including immunization.

B.E. F.A.S.T

B-Balance- trouble with balance

E-Eyes- blurred or double vision

F-Face- does the face look uneven?

A-Arm- is one arm or leg suddenly weak?

S-Speech-trouble with speech

T-Time- time to call 9-1-1