Q&A with Richard Vertrees Smith: Concordia on Stroke Awareness

This news story was originally printed in The Oklahoman.

Concordia stroke awareness Q & AConcordia talk will highlight stroke awareness

Q: I understand you’re speaking about strokes at a free, public event 2 p.m., Feb. 15 at Concordia Life Plan Community, 7707 W Britton. What will your main message be?

A: The best treatment for stroke is prevention, so we’ll cover tips for reducing risk. We’re also going to talk about stroke recognition. This is important information for everyone because even though incidences of stroke are more common in older adults, strokes affect people of all ages and knowledge about prevention and recognition can benefit you and your family.

Q: What’s your advice for recognizing a stroke in ourselves and others?

A: The acronym we use is F.A.S.T. — facial droop, arm (or leg) weakness, speech or sight difficulty and time. The earlier we can see the patient, the more successful we are at dissolving the clot with medication or physically extracting the clot from the blocked brain artery. Many times people miss the treatment opportunity window because they don’t recognize the stroke and stay at home thinking they’re going to get better.

Q: What are some risk factors for stroke?

A: People with high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation and diabetes run higher risks for stroke. So do those who smoke cigarettes or have high-fat and high-cholesterol diets.

Q: What are some ways people can reduce their own risk for stroke?

A: If you have high blood pressure, work with your doctor to manage it. Limiting alcohol consumption reduces the likelihood of irregular heartbeat. To prevent hardening of the arteries, never smoke and avoid a high-fat diet. Getting enough sleep, managing stress and regular exercise are important, too.

Q: How can interested persons make reservations for your Feb. 15 talk?

A: Call 720-7200

For more information about Concordia Life Care Community call (405)720-7200 or visit www.concordiaseniorliving.com/.