Healthier Together: Go Red for Women - know the signs of heart disease, stroke


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Last week on Healthier Together, we featured a local stroke survivor's journey from diagnosis to recovery. Now, we're learning how she became an ambassador for the "Go Red for Women" movement to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke, and inspire others to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Jia Wu, of Tacoma, Washington, is a stroke survivor and Puget Sound Go Red for Women Ambassador.

"Since I felt so alone throughout my recovery I wasn't sure how to normalize, and when I reached out to the American Heart Association that really changed my life in the sense that I finally found groups of people who experienced strokes at relatively young ages," said Wu "And they're recovering or have recovered, and they live a relatively normal life. That taught me that it is possible to get back to normal."

Claire Verity is the President of Regence BlueShield and chair of the Go Red for Women movement in Puget Sound.

"Be the beat is the theme for this year," said Verity. "Our group here in the Puget Sound of leaders have gathered here to say the importance of CPR, especially how it has played out on the national stage in the past few weeks has become very very important. We are wanting to make sure that every household understands the importance of learning CPR."


Healthier Together: Understanding heart disease

February is American Heart Month and in this week's Healthier Together, FOX 13 sat down with Regence BlueShield to learn about heart disease prevention for people of all ages and what to do in the event of a cardiac emergency.

"Being able to react in a time of emergency is really critical," said Verity. "So learning CPR, it's a hands-only approach now. That's different from where it was 5-20 years ago where we had to do chest compressions and breathing at the same time."

Learn more about CPR from the American Heart Association.

Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest – lasting more than a few minutes – uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

Other symptoms include shortness of breath, pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

It's important to know the warning signs of a stroke - and take action immediately if you suspect you are having one:

  • F = Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
  • A = Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S = Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred?
  • T = Time to call 911


Healthier Together: Stroke warning signs

It's important to know the warning signs of a stroke - and take action immediately if you suspect you are having one.


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