By Robin Clutters

(CBS4)World Stroke Day is coming up on Oct. 29. It’s a day focused on improving awareness of stroke symptoms.

“Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in America, with almost a million Americans expected to have a stroke this year. Despite that, only about half of Americans can name a single sign or symptom of a stroke,” says Dr. Ben Atchie, a neuro-interventional surgeon with the Swedish Neuro Network.

(credit: Getty Images)

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On CBSN Denver, Dr. Atchie explained a simple mnemonic to help us all remember the signs of a stroke.

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“Be fast is what you need to remember. The B stands for balance, so any sudden symptoms where you’re unable to walk is concerning. E is for eyes, so find out if the person has lost vision in one or both eyes. F is for face, any asymmetry in your smile or face is a symptom of stroke. A is for arm, so if one side is weak, that is concerning. S stands for speech, as slurred speech or an inability to communicate is a sign. T stands for time, and that’s a reminder that a stroke is an emergency, and you need to get to a hospital as fast as possible.”

Dr. Atchie says 80% of strokes can be prevented just by making different lifestyle choices.

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“The most common risk factors for stroke are smoking, diabetes, and hypertension. So, if we can control those things, we would prevent a lot of strokes in America.”

Robin Clutters