New guidelines meant to lead to earlier detection of strokes - KCTV5 News

New guidelines meant to lead to earlier detection of strokes

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The American Stroke Association has made big changes on how to detect a stroke.

What many of us may have been taught – FAST: face, arms, speech and time to call 911 -- has been modified to be faster, adding in balance and eyesight  

Alexandria Saint Louis was rushed to the hospital for a stroke in November, but it turns out she had been showing symptoms a month before that.  

“It was just a very small crescent that I could see and I thought, ‘Well, I have to go to the eye doctor,’” she said. “I didn’t associate that with a stroke.”

She said she was familiar with the acronym “FAST,” but didn’t realize it had been changed to now include symptoms she was showing.

Dr. Coleman Martin, an interventional neurologist at Saint Luke’s Hospital, said it’s important to pay attention to your body.

Had Saint Louis made an appointment with her eye doctor, they would’ve noticed something more serious was going on.  

“Would’ve been much easier for me to treat this artery had an ultrasound shown it was getting blocked because then I could’ve treated it before the stroke even began,” said Dr. Martin.

Dr. Martin said the best way avoid a stroke is to have a healthy lifestyle by treating your blood pressure, lowering your cholesterol levels, exercising, not smoking, and controlling your diabetes.

He said following those steps could save your life.

For more information about the new guidelines, visit the American Stroke Association’s website.

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