Clinical stroke director provides helpful tips on how to spot a stroke

Someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds, according to CDC

Offering San Antonio's first Brain and Stroke Network, Baptist Health System provides accredited, award-winning stroke care at all five of its hospitals across the city.

SAN ANTONIO – Timing is crucial, especially in a medical emergency, and with a stroke, every second counts.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, according to Baptist Health System. With your help, you can prevent death and disability by learning the signs and symptoms of stroke.

To better serve the community, Baptist Health System’s Brain and Stroke Network provides San Antonio and surrounding counties with increased access to higher acuity stroke and neurosurgical services.

Michele Patterson, a comprehensive clinical stroke director for Baptist Health System, has tips on how to recognize stroke symptoms:

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

  • B - Balance.
  • E - Eyes (Any visual change).
  • F - Facial droop or an uneven smile.
  • A - Any arm weakness.
  • S - Slurred speech.
  • T - Time to call 911.

Call 911 if you recognize any of the symptoms mentioned in the B-E-F-A-S-T acronym.


If someone has a stroke, is there hope that the person can recover?

“Yes, acting fast and getting someone to the hospital is extremely important,” said Patterson. “How we respond to stroke in the beginning when it initially happens plays a great part in the recovery after. The sooner you get to the hospital and get treated, we are able to possibly minimize your stroke symptoms. An important part about stroke recovery is it’s a marathon and not a sprint so it takes a lot of persistence and a lot of perseverance. Our goal is to get individuals back to or as close to the way they were before the stroke actually happened.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that individuals with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity and diabetes are leading causes of stroke.


Baptist Health System, which provides hospital, health and wellness services in San Antonio and South/Central Texas, includes six acute care hospitals that have earned Chest Pain Center Accreditation and Primary Stroke Center Certification. St. Luke’s Baptist in San Antonio is a Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Watch the video above to learn more or click here.