MEDWATCH: "Be Fast" when recognizing a stroke

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - May is stroke awareness month, and doctors at Comanche County Memorial Hospital want you to "Be Fast" when it comes to recognizing that you're having a stroke.

"Be Fast" stands for Balance---Eyes---Face---Arms---Speech---and Time Limit---the signs you should look for if you think you might be having a stroke.

"We don't have any time to waste when it comes to stroke,
says Dr. David Darrigan an emergency physician. The quicker you can get in and get assessed, the better chance we have to be able to help you."

Dr. Darrigan says when a patient comes in with stroke-like symptoms, they immediately take them back for assessment to see if they are a candidate for tPA, the "clot-busting" drug.

"You only have a certain amount of time that the drugs that are effectively treating stroke can be put into your system," says Dr. David Darrigan.

Comanche County Memorial Hospital is an advanced primary stroke center and are above the national average when it comes to giving that drug, which is within 45 minutes of when the patient arrives.

"Being able to treat a stoke within 45 minutes can be a life altering event,
says Dr. David Darrigan. It's going to be able to allow you to be able to go home with much less deficits and potentially save your life versus waiting hours and hours and being kind of excluded from the treatment."

Risk factors for strokes include any kind of cardiovascular problems, high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, or being overweight. Dr. Darrigan says, know the symptoms because strokes can happen to anyone at any age.

"A stroke is a lifelong illness in that the deficits that you can have from a stroke, can last a forever,
says Dr. David Darrigan. So if we can help you early, we want to prevent that to be able to have the healthiest life possible."

Comanche County Memorial Hospital will be having their free stroke risk assessment on Monday, May 14th. They're being offered from 8am -3:30pm in the Oakwood Conference Rooms. The assessments are quick and easy. They're also offering a $20 blood draw for a lipid panel. To schedule your appointment call 585-5406.
For best results for the blood draw, they ask that you don't eat or drink for at least 10 hours prior to the testing.

Copyright 2018 KSWO. All rights reserved.