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)

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

“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.

“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