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Go Red event calls attention to stroke risk, especially for women

As medical director for Phoenix Baptist Hospital’s emergency department, Brian Hess sees people every day who’ve suffered strokes. Often, he said, those patients, as well as those around them, had no idea how to identify a stroke.

“If you’re not looking out for possible stroke symptoms, you’re probably going to miss it, and that goes for providers as well as patients,” he said.

With that in mind, the hospital’s staff dedicated Friday to educating people about how to spot stroke symptoms early. Red balloons graced the main lobby for the Go Red event, and nurses gave free blood pressure tests and handed out pamphlets on heart disease.

It was part of National Wear Red Day, sponsored by the American Heart Association, which encourages people don their red clothing to call attention to heart disease.

Alma Yap, a nurse at the hospital, said in her experience, women tend to ignore symptoms of stroke and heart disease more often than men. She said women often attribute heart attack symptoms like shortness of breath and chest pressure to stress.