Thursday, October 29, 2020, is World Stroke Day – a day to raise awareness about the signs, prevention and treatment of stroke; and remind people it is important to act quickly when someone is having stroke symptoms.


“Stroke is the second leading cause of death and the no. 1 cause of disability worldwide,” said Dr. Nhu Bruce, neurologist and medical director of the stroke program at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital. “The ability to recognize the signs of stroke and act immediately can make all the difference for a stroke victim.”


One tool that can help is the BE FAST test:


B – Balance. Watch for sudden loss of balance.

E – Eyes. Check for vision loss.


F — Face Drooping. Is one side of the face drooping or numb? Ask the person to smile.

A — Arm Weakness. Is one arm or leg weak and numb, especially on one side? Ask the                   person to raise both arms.

S — Speech Difficulty. Is the speech slurred? Can the person speak clearly, or do they seem            confused? Ask them to repeat a simple phrase.

T — Time to call 911. With even one of these signs, and even if the symptom goes away –            get to the hospital immediately.


“Other stroke symptoms can include persistent neck pain and dizziness,” said Bruce. “The faster we reverse this process, the higher the likelihood of improvement – so it is critical that you take action quickly when you notice someone is experiencing stroke symptoms.”


Houston Methodist The Woodlands is a comprehensive stroke center, designated by DNV GL Healthcare. The hospital manages all aspects of stroke care from the FDA-approved clot-buster, Alteplase and mechanical clot removal – to cutting-edge techniques in neurosurgery, such as the WEB device for intracranial aneurysm.


Bruce added that hospital policies and procedures are in place to ensure expeditious evaluation and treatment of patients who present with stroke. The hospital’s comprehensive stroke team includes resources and healthcare professionals in vascular neurology, radiology, neurosurgery, hospital and ICU medicine along with support staff including a stroke coordinator, nurses and technicians.


If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of stroke, call 911 immediately. For all other appointments with a Houston Methodist doctor, call 936.270.3333.