Providence Bruins Stroke Awareness Night Educates 7,000 with the F.A.S.T. Warning Signs on October 17

PROVIDENCE, RI – On Friday, October 17, 2014, American Stroke Association and the Rhode Island Stroke Coordinators Network came together to in celebration of stroke survivors, caregivers, and volunteers with the goal of spreading awareness of the F.A.S.T warning signs. Together with the Providence Bruins, nearly 7,000 Providence Bruins fans received lifesaving messages that could one day save a life.

The Providence Bruins Stroke Awareness Night game featured educational messages on digital screens and two stroke exhibit booths staffed by stroke center nurses from RICSN in F.A.S.T. awareness t-shirts. These volunteers distributed information and engaged fans throughout the evening. In addition, the game highlighted eight local stroke survivors of all ages who were invited to the Providence Bruins bench for a special tribute during first intermission while the F.A.S.T. Warning Signs Public Service Announcement (PSA) played on the Jumbotron.

“Time is the most critical element in the treatment of stroke.  Each minute a stroke passes, 2 million brain cells are lost,” said Dr. Brian Silver, Director of Rhode Island Hospital’s Stroke Center and President of the American Heart Association RI Board of Directors. “It is critical that those suffering from the effects of a stroke, and those witnessing it be able to identify symptoms and act fast for the best chance of a positive outcome.”

The Rhode Island Stroke Coordinators Network (RISCN) is a group of volunteer nurses who represent every hospital in the state of Rhode Island with a mission to promote the best possible care for stroke patients, and to raise public awareness about stroke. The RISCN strives to educate people of all ages in the community on risk factors, warning signs and to take action by calling 9-1-1.

The American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative, nationally sponsored by Covidien, a global healthcare product company, teaches the acronym F.A.S.T. to remember stroke warning signs:

  • F – Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A – Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S – Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T – Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

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World Stroke Day will take place on October 29, 2014 to spread the stroke awareness message to millions across the globe. TheWorld Stroke Organization established World Stroke Day in 2006 to increase global stroke literacy and prevention.

 About the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association:

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — America’s No. 4 killer and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent, treat and beat stroke. The Dallas-based association was created in 1997 as a division of the American Heart Association.

To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit strokeassociation.org.

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