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ASH's Save-a-Life
Pocket Flashlight

$5 Xmas gift combines a tiny always-available flashlight and a listing of the warning signs of a stroke

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Press Release - 11/25/2008
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Save-a-Life tiny pocket flashlight

ASH's Save-a-Life tiny pocket flashlight does TWO major jobs, and it's always there AND ready to go

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Just in time for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, a national charitable health organization is offering a unique gift for only five dollars -- one it says can save lives and also prevent disability to both the giver and the recipient -- which combines a tiny always-available flashlight and a listing of the warning signs of a stroke.

ASH's Save-a-Life pocket flashlight, so tiny that you can always carry it with you, helps light the way to prevent falls -- a major cause of death and disability, especially among older Americans -- when you suddenly have to step into a dark room or closet, or walk on a darkened alley, sidewalk, parking lot, or path.

Because it's always with you and ready to go, it could also save your life in a sudden emergency (anything from a terrorist attack to a blackout), but is also convenient to read menus and bills in a restaurant, find a keyhole, read maps in a car at night, find things in a dark drawer or closet, or in many other frequent situations.

Equally importantly, it contains a complete list of the signs of a stroke, and simple tests family members or friends can use to see if a victim may have just experienced one.

This is vital because strokes are the major cause of disability and the third major cause of death (especially among older Americans), but both death and disability can often be prevented if the stroke is recognized in time for a clot-busting drug to be administered at a hospital emergency room.

Family member and friends are frequently puzzled by a victim's behavior, but often don't recognize it as a stroke or have any way of trying to confirm their suspicions. As a result, precious hours are wasted, and the drug which can prevent further brain damage is not given in time.

"Most lists of the warning signs of a stroke usually wind up in desk drawers or in the circular file," says Professor John Banzhaf of ASH, "so they are not readily available even when a stroke occurs in a home or office, much less when it happens while traveling, shopping, visiting, hiking, etc."

But its tiny size -- which allows men to carry it in their pants pocket, and women even in the smallest change purse -- and its usefulness almost on a daily basis encourages people to carry the ASH Save-a-Life pocket flashlight with them at all times so it is always available wherever a suspected stroke occurs.

ASH encourages people at elevated risk of a stroke -- especially anyone over 40, overweight, with high cholesterol or blood pressure, etc. -- to give this life saving gift to those likely to be around them so that the recipients will have the list of a stroke's signs always available should a stroke suddenly occur to others.

Yes, notes Banzhaf, here is one gift you should give to many others to protect yourself from the devastating but often preventable consequences of having a stroke.

And a $100 tax-deductible contribution gets you twenty tiny pocket flashlights -- at a cost of only $5 each -- which make unique life-saving gifts which the recipients will probably use virtually every day, and which could help protect the gift giver from death or disability from a stroke. For more information visit:

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