Kim Leonard is a stroke survivor and she is only 40 years old. Kim went to two doctors before going to the ER after her whole right side went numb. She received excellent treatment at Providence Hospital and recovered 100% but then had a second stroke. She noticed right away even though the symptoms were different from her first stroke. Dr. Ted Lowenkopf, the medical director of Providence Stroke Center had tips for spotting the warning signs of a stroke.
During the month of May, Robert’s of Portland salon, Providence Stroke Center and the American Heart Association are using red hair streaks to educate the public about stroke risk and prevention. A month-long awareness campaign called Streaks for Stroke kicks off Saturday, May 2, at Lloyd Center Mall in Portland. Wearing "Ask Me Why I Streak" t-shirts, Robert’s of Portland stylists will offer free red hair extensions or “streaks” to the public, and Providence nurses will provide free blood pressure screenings and other stroke risk assessments. This event will take place between noon and 4 p.m., on the mall’s lower level, just outside Nordstrom.
For the rest of May, Robert’s of Portland will offer clients free red streaks at its salon at 5131 S.W. Macadam Ave. in Portland. Stylists also will use the hair appointment to educate clients about stroke risk and warning signs. Salons around the country have taken part in a similar program, which has proven to be an effective way to increase stroke awareness.
More than 140,000 Americans die every year from stroke. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds. Someone dies of a stroke every three minutes. Stroke kills more women than men. Twice as many women die from stroke than breast cancer each year.
Knowing the signs of stroke is important. The sooner treatment is given, the more likely a person will survive and recover from stroke. "If a stroke is not treated immediately, it can lead to lifelong disability – or even death," said Ted Lowenkopf, M.D., medical director of Providence Stroke Center. "Unfortunately, 97 percent of Americans do not know the signs of stroke."
The most successful stroke treatment must be given within the first three hours from the beginning of symptoms; the earlier the better. "It's critical to call 9-1-1 at the first sign of a stroke,” said Lowenkopf. “A stroke cuts off oxygen to the brain – killing millions of brain cells for every minute the stroke goes untreated."The FAST test is used to educate people about the importance of recognizing the signs of a stroke.
F – FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the mouth or face droop?
A – ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Can one arm not be raised?
S – SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a sentence. Can he or she repeat it correctly without slurring the words?
T – TIME: If the person exhibits any problems with these, it's time to call for
For more information on this event, or stroke, visit the Providence Brain Institute Web site by clicking here.