Living Well: Recognizing stroke symptoms

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – May is stroke awareness month and doctors at Baptist Health want you to know about a new acronym that could help save more lives. 

“The symptoms I was having I did not attribute it with a stroke at all,” says stroke patient  
Scott Taylor.

Scott Taylor says he’s had several fainting spells. But it wasn’t until he was shopping one day when he felt dizzy and sick to his stomach. 

He went home to rest but things didn’t get better. 

“My wife had gotten up from the chair because I was asking her for something and she comes over here and she grabbed my hand and my hand was really cold to her touch,” says Taylor. 

That’s when Scott went to the emergency room. Shortly after, he suffered a stroke. 

“I had a lot of double vision and I couldn’t stand,” says Taylor. 

Those two symptoms are key to the new acronym called “Be Fast” to know if you’re having a stroke.

Doctor Sushrut Dharmadhikari says Scott is not your classic patient of the Mnemonic FAST which stands for Face, Arm, Speech, and Time. That’s why adding a “B” and an “E” can help save lives. 

“B means balance or any kind of problems that lead to imbalance or dizziness. Or eye symptoms where you can’t see out of one eye or one-half of both eyes,” says Dr. Sushrut Dharmadhikari, an Interventional Neurologist

Had Scott delayed care…

“The location where he had the blockage– about 9 out of 10 patients would die,” says ays Dr. Sushrut Dharmadhikari.

They performed a mechanical thrombectomy to remove a clot in his brain shortly after his stroke. 

It’s a reminder that timing is crucial.

“Get to the emergency room because that’s where you can get treated fast and also that’s where they can triage whether you need a higher level of care.”

Doctor Dhamadhikari says Scott is very lucky and can live a fully normal life. 

Scott intends on taking control…

“Staying hydrated, eating a lot more healthy foods, staying away from sugars,” says Scott Taylor. 

And making healthy choices to benefit his life. 

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