North Shore-LIJ’s Annual, “Think F.A.S.T.” Stroke Awareness Campaign to Educate Thousands

4/30/2014
Stroke Awareness Month

Media Contact: Michelle Pipia-Stiles
516-313-1708
mpipiastil@nshs.edu

MANHASSET, NY

The North Shore-LIJ Health System announced today it will run its annual, systemwide stroke awareness campaign “Think F.A.S.T” – which educates the public about the signs and symptoms of stroke – in May as part of Stroke Awareness Month.

According to the American Stroke Association, each year about 795,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke, with 137,000 fatalities. 

“The more we can educate the public about the warning signs and symptoms of stroke, the more lives can be saved,” said Richard Libman, MD, chair of North Shore-LIJ’s stroke task force and chief of vascular neurology.  “With stroke, time is brain and the sooner a patient with stroke-like symptoms is brought to the nearest stroke-designated hospital, the better chance of a good clinical outcome.  A clot-busting drug called tPA is only effective when given within the first three hours of the initial appearance of stroke-like symptoms.”

Throughout the month of May, stroke coordinators and stroke champions at various North Shore-LIJ hospitals, will host stroke awareness events, educating the public on how to recognize the symptoms of stroke; stroke risk factors; stroke prevention; nutrition; heart health; and, diabetes.  North Shore-LIJ stroke coordinators will talk to the public about how to “Think F.A.S.T.”

F.A.S.T. stands for the key symptoms of stroke:

Face Drooping:  When one side of the face droops or is numb.  Ask the person to smile.

Arm Weakness: When one arm is weak or numb.  Ask the person to raise both arms.  Does one arm drift downward?

Speech Difficulty:  When the speech is slurred or when person is unable to speak or difficult to understand.  Ask the person to repeat a sentence.  Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 911: If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 911 and get them to a hospital immediately.

“Last year during our first annual Think F.A.S.T. campaign, our stroke coordinators educated more than 32,000 people about the warnings signs of stroke,” said Michele L. Gribko, MS, RN, stroke coordinator at North Shore University Hospital.   “This year, our goal is to reach even more people who walk through our hospital doors. The more we can educate the community, the more lives can be saved.”

For each person who is educated, they will receive a sticker that says, “I know how to think F.A.S.T. and can recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke.”

For more information about stroke prevention and treatment, visit neurocni.com or call 516-562-3822.

About the North Shore-LIJ Health System

One of the nation's largest health systems, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, and healthcare coverage to individuals, families and businesses through the North Shore-LIJ CareConnect Insurance Co. Inc. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 17 hospitals and more than 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses and have affiliations with over 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of about 48,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest private employer in New York State.  For more information, go to northshorelij.com.