San Diego, California - Stroke kills over 1,000 San Diegans every year. The good news is that the number of stroke deaths has decreased by more than 30 percent in the past decade.

Local health officials aim to keep driving the number of deaths down and make San Diego a stroke-free zone by raising awareness about the warning signs and symptoms of stroke.

“Our goal is to eliminate stroke from our communities,” said County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who was joined by local health officials at Petco Park Tuesday to promote Strike Out Stroke Night at the San Diego Padres taking place at the team’s game May 10. “In order to achieve our goal, it is extremely important for people to heed the warning signs of stroke.”

If you or someone near you is having a stroke, it is extremely important that you act F.A.S.T. and call 9-1-1 immediately. F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke and stands for:

  • FACE: Is a side of the face droopy or is it numb? Is the smile uneven?
  • ARM & LEG: Is there weakness, numbness, difficulty walking?
  • SPEECH: Is there slurred speech? Does the person have difficulty speaking?
  • TIME: Time is critical. If you notice any of these symptoms call 9-1-1 immediately.

“Knowing the risks and signs of a stroke can make the difference between life and death,” said Nick Macchione, director of the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). “Stroke and stroke deaths can be prevented. There are three things people can do to prevent a stroke and other chronic diseases: exercise regularly, eat healthy and do not smoke.”

Stroke and other chronic disease  prevention are an important part of Live Well San Diego, the County’s ongoing initiative to improve the health and safety of residents.

“Cancer, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes and lung disease are four chronic diseases that together are responsible for more than half of all deaths in the region,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H, County public health officer. “Preventing chronic disease is possible. Making even a few lifestyle changes can make a difference.”

Strike Out Stroke Night at the San Diego Padres is an annual event organized by San Diego County Stroke Consortium, HHSA, the San Diego Padres and other key partners to raise awareness about stroke and chronic diseases. Stroke survivors, family members and friends will also be present at the game.