A new study in the American Heart Association Journal Stroke says one in five American women don't know a majority of the warning signs of a stroke.
Tuscaloosa resident Natalie Little had a stroke when she was 23.
"It was 1995. I was 23-year-old. I was driving my truck," Little said.
That's a day Little will never forget. She says she really didn't realize she was having a stroke at the time. She had the classic symptoms like face drooping, numbness and difficulty speaking.
"It happened really fast," Little said.
The stroke study says more than 50 percent of women identified sudden weakness or numbness on one side of their face, legs, or arms as a warning sign. Less than 44 percent said difficulty speaking is a warning sign.
Less than a fourth of women identified other signs including severe headaches, dizziness and sudden loss of vision. But despite not knowing the signs, a majority of women knew to call 911. That's common sense in any emergency.
"If they indeed felt that someone was having signs of a stroke, they would call 9-1-1. But I think its that recognition that needs to come first," Dr. Illeana Pina, an American Heart Association spokesperson said. "If they recognize it, they'll call 9-1-1. They see it as something that's critical."
That's why the American Heart Association is encouraging everyone to better understand the signs of strokes. Little said she can easily why.
"All of a sudden I was confused and dazed and had didn't understand what was going on," Little said. "It can happen to anybody at any time."
For more on the study: http://blog.heart.org/many-u-s-women-dont-know-stroke-warning-signs/
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