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HealthONE Stroke Care Debuts Online Stroke Assessment During National Stroke Awareness Month
May 01, 2012 (04:05 PM EDT)

Denver Residents Urged to Be Aware of Signs and Symptoms

DENVER, May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly 800,000 Americans will suffer a stroke this year, yet most people in the U.S. cannot identify stroke warning signs or risk factors. HealthONE Stroke Care hopes to change that during May's National Stroke Awareness Month with the introduction of its new Stroke Risk Profiler, an online assessment tool for adults of all ages.

Denver-area residents looking for more information about their risk of stroke, as well as what to look for, can visit to take the short assessment. There, individuals can learn about the impact of strokes, explore their personal risk factors and learn how to mitigate the risks. Many strokes – some studies indicate that up to 80 percent – can be prevented through risk factor management, says Dr. Chris Fanale, HealthONE Stroke and CO-DOC Medical Director.

Unfortunately, public awareness of stroke warning signs and risk factors continues to lag behind, but May is a time to change this startling statistic, he says.

"A stroke is an emergency! It's important to learn stroke warning signs and how to respond to them," Dr. Fanale says. "Emergency treatment may be available by acting FAST and calling 9-1-1."

HealthONE is asking all Denver residents to remember the FAST test as a method of recognizing warning signs:

F – Face: Ask the person to smile, does one side of the face droop down?
A – Arm: Can the person raise both arms?
S – Speech: Is speech slurred or confusing? Is the person able to speak?
T – Time: Time is critical. Call 9-1-1 immediately.

Every second counts in minimizing the damage a stroke can cause to the brain – quick assessment and personalized care are key, says Dr. Fanale. In fact, HealthOne recently introduced new technology that offers remote stroke care. Its InTouch Health Remote Presence® telemedicine technology includes a camera and microphone for live two-way audio and video communication.

Dr. Fanale reminds Denver residents that stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

"Immediate medical care of stroke can mean the difference between life and death," Dr. Fanale says. "During a stroke, an estimated 30,000 brain cells die per second; a patient's outcomes and recovery are far better the quicker you can evaluate and treat the stroke."