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County News Service

June 21, 2013  (San Diego) -- Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a stroke. Every four minutes, someone dies because of a stroke. What can you do? Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke which might save someone’s life.

 “The County and its many public and private partners have been working to increase awareness of stroke,” said County Supervisor Ron Roberts Friday at Petco Park.  “It is extremely important for people to heed the warning signs so we can save lives.”

What should you do if you or someone near you is having a stroke? Act F.A.S.T. and call 9-1-1 immediately. It can be the difference between life and death. F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. F.A.S.T. stands for:

FACE: Is a side of the face droopy or is it numb? Is the smile uneven?

ARM & LEG: Is there weakness, numbness, difficulty walking?

SPEECH: Is there slurred speech? Does the person have difficulty speaking?

TIME: Time is critical. If you notice any of these symptoms call 9-1-1 immediately.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, affecting more women than men. In San Diego County, more than 1,000 people die from a stroke every year.

Saturday is Strike Out Stroke Night at the San Diego Padres game. The San Diego County Stroke Consortium, County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), San Diego Padres and other key partners will raise awareness about stroke and chronic diseases. Game attendees will also have an opportunity to have their blood pressure checked. High blood pressure could lead to a stroke or other chronic disease.  Stroke survivors, family members and friends will also be present at the game.

“Stroke and stroke deaths can be prevented,” said HHSA Director Nick Macchione. “There are three things people can do to prevent a stroke and other chronic diseases: exercise regularly, eat healthy and do not smoke.”

Stroke prevention is an important part of Live Well San Diego, the County’s ongoing initiative to improve the health and safety of residents.

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