|The National Institute of Neurological Disorders
and Stroke Announces Effort to Promote Stroke Awareness in the
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS),
a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced
the launch of a new community education program, which broadens
the Institute’s national stroke education campaign Know Stroke.
Know the Signs. Act in Time. to promote stroke awareness among
Hispanics in the United States.
The program’s key component is a toolkit, Ataque cerebral:
conozca los síntomas y actúe a tiempo, that can be used
by promotores de salud (lay health educators) in charlas (health
talks) to educate their communities about the signs of stroke
and the importance of calling 911 promptly to receive appropriate
medical treatment. Prompt treatment can dramatically decrease
or even prevent long-term disabilities caused by a stroke.
“Some people do not recognize stroke as a medical emergency and
may not feel comfortable calling 911 due to possible perceived
language barriers,” said José G. Merino, M.D., staff clinician
in the Section of Stroke Diagnostics and Therapeutics at NINDS. “It
is important that Hispanics know how to recognize the signs of
stroke and feel confident saying only ‘stroke’ when calling 911
to receive immediate medical treatment.”
Stroke is the third leading cause of death and one of the leading
causes of adult, long-term disability in the United States. Each
year, about 700,000 people have a new or recurrent stroke. Hispanics
have a higher rate of risk factors that increase the likelihood
of stroke. These include diabetes, excessive weight, high blood
pressure, and cigarette smoking.
Many people do not know the symptoms or what to do when they witness
someone having a stroke. The warning signs of stroke are:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the 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
- Call 911 if you see or have ANY of these symptoms.
As part of the critical push to raise stroke awareness in Hispanic
communities, NINDS, through a partnership with the National Council
of La Raza (NCLR), conducted a pilot training with the toolkits
for promotores de salud and outreach workers. With the
recent completion of the training, NINDS has set the foundation
for broader educational outreach that will expand to other cities
in the coming months.
NINDS is also working with other national organizations, including
the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (NAHH), to disseminate
stroke information through health educators and community outreach
workers in local communities across the country.
“We are pleased to be working with prominent organizations that
are as committed to improving the health and well-being of Hispanics
as we are. They are vital to expand the reach of the Know Stroke campaign
to Hispanics and represent a critical channel for us to bring the
messages of the campaign to key community leaders and educators,” said
In developing the toolkit, NCLR conducted audience research with
focus groups across the country that provided valuable insights
about Hispanics’ knowledge, awareness, and attitudes related to
stroke. Components of the toolkit include: a video with testimonies
from people who have successfully recovered from stroke due to
their prompt action and information from a medical expert; a flipchart
that complements the video, and brochures that capture key messages
for charlas participants to take home and share with others.
For more information about the toolkit or other Know Stroke campaign
materials, contact NINDS at 1-800-352-9424 (Spanish-speaking specialists
are available to assist you), or visit www.ninds.nih.gov/stroke.
Also, for a full listing of Spanish-language publications, visit www.ninds.nih.gov/spanish.
NINDS, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the
nation’s primary supporter of basic, translational, and clinical
research on the brain and nervous system. NINDS aims to reduce
the burden of neurological disease among all Americans. Go to www.ninds.nih.gov for
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.