Pictured: Ted Mcgillicuddy, MD, vascular surgeon, Central Maine Medical Center
Central Maine Healthcare (CMH) is observing Stroke Awareness Month in May by raising awareness about the signs and symptoms of stroke, as well as the importance of getting prompt treatment.
Stroke is a leading cause of disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Maine, stroke is the third leading cause of death and the number one cause of long-term disability.
Ted Mcgillicuddy, MD, is a vascular surgeon at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. He says when it comes to minimizing stroke damage, timing is everything. “Time is of the essence, and you should seek medical attention if any stroke symptoms occur.
“If you recognize and treat it promptly, it really allows you to increase your quality and quantity of life,” Dr. Mcgillicuddy said.
Doctor Mcgillicuddy also said the acronym “B.E.F.A.S.T.” is helpful in identifying signs of a stroke:
B: loss of balance
E: blurred vision in your eyes
F: one side of face is drooping
A: weakness in arms or legs
S: speech difficulties
T: time to call an ambulance immediately
The risk of stroke can be lessened through healthy lifestyle choices, such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not using tobacco and managing chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.