Medical Monday : Strokes

May is National Stroke Awareness Month
Published: May. 9, 2023 at 8:21 AM EDT|Updated: May. 9, 2023 at 8:36 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn


May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Vanessa Symonick spoke to an emergency department director to discuss the impacts a stroke can have on the body and why it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.

John Thyng : “A stroke can happen at any age. It’s actually the leading cause of disability in adults and the fifth leading cause of death in adults in the US”.

John Thyng is the director of the emergency department at AR Gould and discusses the impacts a stroke can have on the body and how important it is to act quickly if you do sense someone may be having a stroke. A stroke occurs when there is a lack of oxygen getting to the brain because of a decrease in blood supply.

Thyng : “So when that happens, you can get things like a weak extremity, difficulty with your speech, loss of vision, confusion. Those are the more common signs of a stroke”.

Thyng says Medical Professions typically use the acronym BEFAST when diagnosing a stroke which stands for Balance, Eye and Vision Loss, Facial Droop, Arm Weakness, Speech, and Time which he says is crucial.

Thyng :” There’s a term we call time is brain and so they need to get to healthcare providers as soon as possible to a medical facility to get treatment because as every minute goes by, more brain tissue is at risk”.

And there are different types of strokes. He says someone can develop what is called a TIA or another type called a hemorrhagic stroke.

Thyng : “A TIA is actually a temporary decrease in blood flow to a certain part of the brain. And those symptoms will look like a stroke, but typically will resolve on their own. There’s also a hemorrhagic stroke and this can occur when a blood vessel ruptures within the brain and those can certainly be life threatening”.

While strokes can be very serious, he says there can be ways to prevent one from occurring.

Thyng :” Eighty percent of strokes are preventable really by risk factor control, which is controlling your weight, getting exercise, not smoking, controlling your diabetes, watching your diet, control your cholesterol, these lifestyle changes can prevent strokes”.

It’s important to make sure that you seek medical attention immediately if you do think you may be experiencing any signs of a stroke.

Vanessa Symonick Newssource 8.