Author : Mazen A. Basheikh, Sumayyah A. Kobeisy, Salem Bajammal, Mohammad Joharji, Reem A. Alyoubi,

Abstract : Introduction: Stroke is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, obesity, smoking and lack of physical activity are all modifiable risk factors that can prevent stroke. BE-FAST, an acronym for balance, eyes, face, arm, speech and time, can be used to recognize more than 95% of ischemic strokes. Objective: This study aims to assess the general knowledge of university students in Saudi Arabia regarding the common symptoms of stroke as well as their awareness of when to present to a medical facility. Methodology: A cross-sectional study conducted as an online survey distributed amongst university students from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from September-October 2020.Statistical analysis was done using IBM SPSS Statistics Version 20. Results: A total of 321 volunteers participated in the study. Facial asymmetry and hemibody weakness were the least symptoms to be recognized among the studied sample (29% and 40.8% respectively). The awareness of the urgency to seek medical help was very high as 90.7% said that they need to seek medical help as soon as symptoms appear and 92% said that they would go to the Emergency Room rather than outpatient clinics. Conclusion: Awareness of stroke symptoms is associated with better prognosis however current knowledge of university students is still suboptimal especially regarding some of the common early symptoms/signs like facial and hemibody weakness.

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