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FAST Facts

OSF HealthCare stroke surgeon authors guide book

FAST Stroke Guide

The mnemonic FAST, the title of a new book written by OSF HealthCare neuro interventionist Dr. Akram Shhadeh, serves a double purpose. It signifies the letters all of us need to remember if we suspect we, or someone we witness, might be having a stroke - F- facial drooping; A - arm weakness; S- speech difficulties and T - time. 

But it also describes one of the key reasons Dr. Shhadeh believes such a guide book is needed. He says with so many providers involved in the proper diagnosis and treatment of a stroke patient - from the public, EMT's, Emergency Department doctors and nurses to internal medicine physicians and neuro interventionists, like himself, there can't be a disconnect along the way when talking about a patient's brain or life.   

"Most of the stroke books there are more like text books and only the specialists can read them - or can focus and read them for the purpose of the exams,' says Dr. Akram Shhadeh, neuro interventionist at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center. "So, that's kind of, I thought of writing this book to wrote it in a very simple, up to the point fashion so everyone who reads it - from any of these disciplines they get the information they need." 

Dr. Shhadeh on why he wrote stroke book

Dr. Shhadeh describes the book as a quick guide that shows how all disciplines can work as one team and how each determines their responsibilities and their action on it to create a more efficient process to save more brains. 

He should know, he helped create the neuro-intervention program at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center that resulted in the hospital becoming the first in the Rockford region designated as a comprehensive stroke center. 

"What helped me, being in OSF, to put more thought into the book because every time you build a new program there's facets and new areas you discover," says Dr. Akram Shhadeh, neuro interventionist at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center. "So, kind of, I put all my experience from the past - two programs I built and this third one in this book so it becomes very easy and manageable and anyone can read it and really gets it."


Dr. Shhadeh on how his OSF experience helped with writing book

While aimed at stroke care and treatment providers, Dr. Shhadeh says the FAST Stroke Guide could benefit anyone wanted to know more about helping someone survive a stroke.

He says acute stroke is a very time sensitive disease requiring prompt decisions. So, the more all of us know - particularly care providers - can only help.

"There is no one book out there that puts all of this information in a practical way to follow," says Dr. Akram Shhadeh, neuro interventionist at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center. And I know stroke physicians are very busy. They don't have time because they get called all the time - days and nights. So they don't have time to put all this information together from multiple sources. So what I did, I did not invent any new information there. I just put all the most relevant information - practical guide from them to manage their patient as quick as possible." 


Dr. Shhadeh on how this book will help stroke care providers

The FAST Stroke Guide is available through Amazon. However, Dr. Shhadeh is quick to point out that he did not write the 300 page guide to make money. He simply wants to improve stroke patient treatment and care. 

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