Nazareth Hospital Educates Community on Warning Signs of Stroke

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May 21, 2019
Northeast Philadelphia (May 21, 2019): In recognition of National Stroke Awareness Month, Nazareth Hospital urges community members to “BE FAST” in identifying symptoms of stroke to reduce the risk of death and disability.
According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the number one cause of disability and fifth leading cause of death in the United States, with a stroke occurring every 40 seconds. A stroke occurs when a blood clot or artery rupture prevents blood and oxygen from getting to the brain.
Nazareth Hospital colleagues encourage patients to use the acronym “BE FAST” — recently updated from “FAST” by the American Stroke Association — to act quickly during a stroke. A stroke may produce the following symptoms, and requires immediate medical attention:
B – Balance Loss
E – Eyesight Loss
F – Facial Drooping
A – Arm Weakness
S – Speech Difficulty
T – Time to call 911
“Strokes can be life changing for a person, particularly if they are not recognized or treated quickly,” said Edward R. O'Dell, D.O., Chief Medical Officer at Nazareth Hospital. “Being able to rapidly identify the signs of stroke can ultimately help reduce damage to the brain, prevent disability and save lives.”
Certain lifestyle factors and conditions, such as smoking and high blood pressure, can increase the risk of stroke. While men 65 and older are at the greatest risk for stroke, a stroke can affect a person at any age. Despite the prevalence of stroke, fewer than one in five Americans can correctly classify all stroke symptoms.
For more information about stroke or Nazareth Hospital’s Stroke Center, visit
About Nazareth Hospital
Founded by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, Nazareth Hospital has provided healthcare to the Northeast Philadelphia community since 1940. The hospital has 205 acute and 28 skilled care beds, and provides a full array of healthcare services, including emergency services, surgery, vascular services and wound care, cardiac care, orthopedic and rehabilitation services, and cancer care. Nazareth is a nationally certified Primary Stroke Center and Chest Pain Center, has earned national accreditation for hip and knee replacement, heart failure care and PCI, and is a Blue Distinction Center+ for Hip and Knee Replacement. Nazareth Hospital is a member of Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania, a member of Trinity Health.  
About Mercy Health System
A diverse, integrated system providing comprehensive healthcare services, Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania, a member of Trinity Health, comprises three acute care hospitals, a home healthcare organization, several wellness centers, physician practices, and a federal PACE program, and is co-owner of the managed care plan, Gateway Health Plan. With 250 primary care and specialty physicians, Mercy Health System is a teaching community health system affiliated with Drexel University School of Medicine and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). As a mission-driven regional health ministry, we will become the recognized leader in improving the health of our communities and each person we serve. We will be known as the most trusted health partner for life. To learn more about Mercy Health System, visit
Christy McCabe
(215) 962-9893