BRAZOS VALLEY, Texas — The month of May is a time to bring awareness to the signs and symptoms of stroke. And with World Hypertension Day, Kassandra Hunt is sharing ways to ensure your heart is healthy.
This issue hits close to home for Hunt, as she began her career as a nurse and transitioned into a different role with the same mission in mind.
“Heart disease runs in both sides of my family,” said Hunt, senior director of community impact, RN, MSN, CNO.
Hunt witnessed her grandparents go in and out of medical visits, which inspired her to take matters into her own hands.
”I wanted to be part of that and help people who were in the same situation, and so that is why I became a nurse and it’s why I continue this work with the American Heart Association (AHA),” said Hunt.
According to the AHA, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and remains a leading cause of disability, so having your heart healthy is important today for all ages.
"We would see younger and younger patients. Strokes can happen at any age. They can actually even happen in utero before someone is born,” said Hunt.
Hunt says the best way to spot symptoms of a stroke to act quickly is knowing the B.E.F.A.S.T acronym. The acronym draws awareness to symptoms such as balance, eyesight, facial drooping, arm weakness or fatigue, slurred speech, and seeking medical help in a timely manner if any of these are spotted.
With the help of organizations like the AHA, medical advances have come a long way to help stroke patients. And they're also keeping those at risk of stroke in better health condition with medication.
”All of these medical advances that have been made; one of the things that we do since today is World Hypertension Day. It’s appropriate to mention one of the ways that we try to help patients is something we call self-measured blood pressure,” said Hunt.
Technology is also helping medical professionals bring care to more rural areas like across the Brazos Valley than years before.