In 2010, Arkansas was number one for acute stroke deaths in the United States. As of 2018, Arkansas ranks number nine in acute stroke deaths.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Institute for Digital Health & Innovation Stroke Program and Drew Memorial Health System recognize World Stroke Day on Thursday, October 29, 2020. All Arkansans are encouraged to learn the signs and symptoms of stroke and to call 911 immediately.

The UAMS Stroke Program delivers live, telemedicine-based neurology consultation in emergency departments at 54 sites across Arkansas, many of which are in rural areas. The program connects potential stroke patients with specialists who offer on-the-spot stroke diagnosis and treatment required for good outcomes.

In FY 2020, the UAMS Stroke Program partner hospitals held about 1,700 community events and educated more than 244,000 individuals on stroke signs and symptoms.

Knowing the sudden signs of stroke and BE FAST can save a life.

B – Balance: Is there a sudden loss of balance?
E – Eyes: Is there a change in vision in one or both eyes?
F – Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or look uneven?
A – Arm Weakness: Does one arm feel weak or drift downward?
S – Speech Difficulty: Does their speech sound strange or slurred?
T – Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Stroke risk factors include high blood pressure, Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), Atrial fibrillation (Afib), smoking and family history. Statistics show that Arkansans are at a higher risk of death from stroke than residents of most other states. In 2019, patients seen through the IDHI Stroke Program received treatment in less than two hours from the onset of their symptom.

Where you live should not determine whether you live or whether you die. Fortunately, in Arkansas a stroke patient can get the same level of life-saving care in their hometown hospital as in a large metropolitan hospital.

For more information about stroke or the UAMS IDHI Stroke Program, visit: https://arsaves.uams.edu/