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May is Stroke Awareness Month


Nyack, N.Y. May 9, 2024 – On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds. Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the world and the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly 795,000 people have a new or recurrent stroke each year. Rockland County Executive Ed Day issued a proclamation on May 8, 2024, declaring May as Stroke Awareness Month in Rockland County.

A stroke is a medical emergency that can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death. Strokes can happen to anyone at any age. During a stroke, every minute counts. To recognize and respond to the signs and symptoms of a stroke, use the acronym B.E. F.A.S.T. which stands for:

B = Sudden loss of balance
E = Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
F = Face Drooping 
A = Arm Weakness 
S = Speech Difficulty 
T = Time to call 911 

“The faster a person having a stroke gets to the Stroke Center, the faster we can intervene to save the brain and the person’s quality of life,” said Andrew Erian, MD, co-director of the Stroke Committee at Montefiore Nyack Hospital.

The most common type of stroke is an ischemic stroke. This occurs when a vessel supplying blood to the brain is blocked. This prevents the brain from getting oxygen and nutrients from the blood. Without oxygen and nutrients, brain cells begin to die within minutes. The main treatment for an ischemic stroke is a medicine called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). Also known as thrombolytic medication therapy, tPA breaks up the blood clots that block blood flow to the brain. It must be given within 3 hours after symptoms start. In some cases, it is given up to 4.5 hours. The sooner treatment begins, the better the chances of recovery.

If you or a loved one have any stroke warning signs, dial 911 immediately. Montefiore Nyack Hospital is designated a Primary Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health and recipient of the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval. To learn more, visit

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