(RxWiki News) What if learning and sharing a simple song could save a life?
As part of World Stroke Day 2015 (Oct. 29), the American Stroke Association (ASA) and American Heart Association (AHA) are urging the public to sing a tune that could save lives. The F.A.S.T. song is part of the ASA's "Together to End Stroke" initiative, which aims to raise awareness that stroke is largely preventable, treatable and beatable.
According to the AHA, the song can help people learn the most common warning signs of stroke and what to do if one occurs. F.A.S.T. stands for Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty and Time to call 9-1-1.
"Recognizing a stroke right away and calling 911 is the key when it comes to stroke," said Jeffrey L. Saver, MD, a professor of neurology and director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at the University of California Los Angeles, in a press release. "We have many effective therapies to treat stroke, but there is a short window for the patient to be evaluated at a hospital and receive treatment like a clot-busting drug or clot-removal device."
To help the public get in tune with the warning signs of stroke, the ASA has made several styles of the song and complete lyrics available on its website. The public is asked to share favorite F.A.S.T. songs on social media using #singFAST.
But the ASA isn't the only organization that's raising awareness for stroke on Oct. 29.
The World Stroke Organization, which first established World Stroke Day in 2006, is continuing last year's theme, "I am Woman," for 2015.
The "I Am Woman" campaign seeks to reinforce that, while stroke does not discriminate between genders, women are at a higher risk of stroke, are more likely to die as a result of stroke and are the primary caregivers to affected family members in many cases. The campaign is also aimed at helping women understand their risks and encouraging them to take steps to reduce their likelihood of stroke.
Many strokes are preventable. High blood pressure, depression, atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) and diabetes can all increase the risk of stroke.
"Strokes in women and men can be prevented by reducing the risk factors for stroke," said David Winter, MD, chief clinical officer, president and chairman of the board of Baylor Health Care System's HealthTexas Provider Network, in an interview with RxWiki News. "These include hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and sedentary life style. Many strokes can be reversed if diagnosed promptly. Strokes are a common cause of death and disability in our country so it behooves us all to know the early signs of strokes, and try to reduce risk factors."
To reduce stroke risk, women should eat healthily, stay active, reduce stress, stop smoking, moderate alcohol intake and get regular health checks.