Mount Auburn Hospital has awarded Springwell, a non-profit elder services organization and the Watertown Public Health Department each a $1,000 grant to identify and pilot ways to incorporate stroke education into their community programs.
Realizing that local organizations have unique perspectives on the needs of the communities they serve, Mount Auburn Hospital designed this year long program to increase awareness about the warning signs and symptoms of a stroke to begin during May, Stroke Awareness Month. In addition to the elder serving agencies Mount Auburn Hospital has partnered with Professional Ambulance for this initiative. Staff from both organizations will support local efforts with education and training resources.
“The simple message of the campaign, Time is Brain means that the faster someone who is having a stroke gets emergency treatment; the chance of saving brain function improves. Everyone, in particular those who are elderly and those who work with elders, need to know the warning signs of a stroke and to Act F.A.S.T.” explains Mount Auburn Hospital Stroke Nurse Coordinator, Marie McCune, RN, SCRN.
F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away.
Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately.
Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.
Watertown is one of six towns that have been awarded grants to positively impact each community. The other communities include Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Somerville, and Waltham.