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This Survive Stroke Week – Know the Important Signs and Symptoms to Survive and Thrive

April 30, 2024

Alarmingly, nearly 2 million brain cells die every minute a severe stroke goes untreated. It is a leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of long-term disability for adults. Timely restoration of proper blood flow, however, can have a significant impact on patient outcomes. Therefore, it’s vital that people seek emergency medical attention as soon as they experience any signs or symptoms of the condition.

As we approach May 6-12, known as Survive Stroke Week, it’s crucial that people understand what it takes to “Arrive. Survive. Thrive.” The acronym BE FAST is a helpful tool to remember the telltale signs of stroke and contact 911 immediately:

Balance: loss of balance or coordination, trouble walking
Eyes: decreased vision, double vision, or total loss of vision
Face: muscle weakness on one side of the face that causes it to droop
Arm: muscle weakness in the arm or leg
Speech: trouble speaking or understanding others who are speaking
Time: Call 9-1-1 immediately upon experiencing any of the outward symptoms listed above. Even if only one of these symptoms appears or if symptoms appear intermittently or go away altogether.

Getting to the emergency room is just the first step in the patient journey. When a stroke occurs, every minute counts. With early intervention and access to advanced stroke treatments such as mechanical thrombectomy and other minimally invasive procedures, blood flow to the brain can be restored quickly and patients’ chances of living full, independent lives upon recovery significantly increases. However, despite its incredible potential, not all patients receive this life-saving treatment given the misconceptions or lack of awareness around these newer advancements.

At Penumbra, we’re proud supporters of Survive Stroke Week and the Get Ahead of Stroke® initiative to increase awareness that with quick action and appropriate treatment, patients can survive and even thrive after a stroke. Founded by the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) in 2016, Get Ahead of Stroke aims to improve systems of care for stroke patients through education and advocacy. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against stroke.

To learn more about stroke, go here. To learn more about Survive Stroke Week, go here.


• Get Ahead of Stroke. Why Call 911? Accessed: April 15, 2024.
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stroke. Last reviewed: Sept. 5, 2023. Accessed: April 15, 2024.
• National Institutes of Health. Stroke. Last reviewed: Nov. 28, 2023. Accessed: April 15, 2024.
• Get Ahead of Stroke. Thrombectomy. Accessed: April 15, 2024


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