MedWatch: Stroke Awareness Video Contest

When it comes to a stroke, time means brain.

The faster a victim gets medical care, the better their outcome will be.

That’s the inspiration behind a contest that combines creativity from students, with an important message for us all.

It’s today’s MedWatch report.

"The video contest is an opportunity for students to learn the acronym FAST, to spread the word among their families, their peers and publicly," says Dr. Kersti Bruining.

High school students made these videos.

They’re last year’s winners of Munson Medical Center’s stroke awareness video contest.

A team effort with a goal of teaching everyone the signs of a stroke.

"FAST stands for face. Is the face working properly? Is it lopsided? A is for arms. Is the arm weak? Will it not stay up if you hold them up? S is for speech. Is the speech garbled, or does it not come out properly, or is it slurred? And T is for time. It’s time to call 911 and get care activated right away," explains Dr. Bruining.

That is the message students must pass along, no matter how they do it.

"If you just let them be, and they’ll amaze you. You just have to give them these opportunities, and it’s so much more meaningful and so much more authentic, and that’s where they get that joy of leaning, and they walk away with a skill they’ll have for the rest of their lives," says Kristen Bauer.

Kristen Bauer teaches the current issues class at Kingsley High School. Her students walked away with second place last year.

"They’re just like your children, you always think they’re the best, but it’s something different and something amazing when other people recognize them, too," says Kristen.

And right now, this year’s class is just starting their project, but they certainly have a firm grasp on the subject.

"Eighty percent of strokes can be prevented by looking at the early signs of FAST," says 11th grade student Alex Gomez.

Kingsley High School senior Cameron Lee adds, "Stroke is one of those things that people just don’t realize how big of an impact it has on so many people’s lives, because once you have a stroke it’s not the same. There’s so much rehab and it’s just the concept of if you raise awareness, these can be stopped."

"I don’t look at is as a competition, I look at it as a way to help more people learn, but the fact that it is a competition makes it more interesting, because there’s always that you can beat these other people, but really it’s all about helping people out," says Alex.

And for doctors like Kersti Bruining, it’s a way to teach younger generations very important information that they can share about the fifth leading cause of death in this country.

"I’m very excited about this program. I’m very excited to see the enthusiasm around it and excited to see how many people are being educated by making the films and are being educated by watching them," says Dr. Bruining.

The contest is open to all 6th through 12th grade students in Northern Michigan with a sponsoring teacher.

A juried panel will choose the winners in May. First place wins $1,000, $500 for second and $300 for third.

The winner will be featured on Munson’s website.

Categories: MedWatch