Medical expert provides helpful tips on how to spot a stroke

May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Baptist Health System has an expanded stroke network through the Baptist Brain & Stroke Network, providing San Antonio and surrounding counties with increased access to higher acuity stroke and neurosurgical services.

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. You can help 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.

Dr. Suman Nalluri, stroke medical director for Northeast Baptist Hospital, provided some advice on how to recognize stroke symptoms, with the acronym BE FAST.

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 BE FAST.

Why is acting so fast important when looking for signs of stroke?

“Stroke is a disease where, basically, it’s because of the blockage in the brain, most of the time,” said Nalluri. “When that happens, the brain cells die fast. Almost 2 million neurons die each minute, so you have to act really fast to save the patient.”

Northeast Baptist Hospital now has a mechanical-thrombectomy capable facility, which helps patients get faster treatment for stroke.

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


Baptist Health System has an expanded stroke network through the Baptist Brain and Stroke Network, providing San Antonio and surrounding counties with increased access to higher acuity stroke and neurosurgical services.

The group provides hospital, health and wellness services in San Antonio and South/Central Texas, including 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.

To learn more about stroke awareness, click here or watch the video above.