Your Good Health
Shouldn't be a Stroke of Luck

    • Act F.A.S.T.

    • Learn the facts

    • Know the symptoms

    • Reduce your risk

    • Learn more about Cottage's Stroke Program

Act F.A.S.T and you can save a life.
Know the signs of stroke:  follow these simple steps:

  • Face
    Smile -- does one side of
    the person's face droop?
  • Arms
    Have the person raise both arms.
    Does one droop downward?
  • Speech
    Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
    Are the words slurred or unclear?
  • Time
    If any of these signs are apparent,
    call 911 or get to a hospital fast.
    With strokes, time lost is brain lost.


Learn the facts about stroke before it strikes:

  • Strokes start in the brain, not in the heart. They are the brain's equivalent of a heart attack.
  • Stroke is the third leading cause of death, and the number one cause of disability, in the U.S.
  • Stroke is the second leading cause of death in Santa Barbara County
  • 80% of strokes are preventable.
  • Strokes don't discriminate. Whether you are 30 or 70, you may be at risk for a stroke.
  • Approximately 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year. Stroke kills twice as many women per year as breast cancer.
  • Men's stroke incidence rates are greater than women's at younger ages, but not older ages.
  • Healthy lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, a low-fat diet, minimal alcohol consumption, and non-smoking, combine with cholesterol and blood pressure management to greatly reduce your risk of stroke.


Know the symptoms of stroke:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause


To reduce your risk for stroke:

  • Know your blood pressure. If it's high, work with your doctor to lower it.
  • Find out from you doctor if you have atrial fibrillation.
  • If you smoke, stop.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
  • Find out if you have high cholesterol. If so, work with your doctor to control it.
  • If you are diabetic, follow your doctor's recommendations carefully to control it.
  • Include exercise in the activities you enjoy in your daily routine.
  • Eat a lower sodium, lower fat diet
  • Ask your doctor how you can reduce your risk of stroke

For learn more about Cottage's specialized stroke services, or Santa Barbara Neuroscience Institute, please contact Gary Milgram, Service Line Director, at (805) 682-7111.