A news anchor develops stroke symptoms on air. Her colleagues jumped into action.

Julie Chen, a television news anchor in Oklahoma, was telling viewers about a local event linked to the now-deleted Artemis I missile launch over the weekend when, suddenly, she was struggling to speak.

“I’m sorry,” Mrs. Chen She said after stumbling in her words. “Something is happening with me this morning, and I apologize to everyone.”

Fortunately, her co-workers realized Ms. Chen had a medical emergency and immediately called 911. Their quick actions turned out to be crucial as the TV presenter witnessed what doctors later said was likely the “starts of a stroke.” According to what Ms. Chen posted on Facebook.

“If you’ve been watching on Saturday mornings,” she said in the post, “you know how hard I tried to steer the show forward, but the words just wouldn’t come.”

Each year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke, which means that someone has one stroke every 40 seconds and one person dies every three and a half minutes, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Strokes are more common in people 65 and older, but at least 38 percent of people younger than that have strokes.

Ms. Chen, the NBC-affiliated KJRH anchor in Tulsa, said that while she was working on cutting off the cameras for her and the station’s meteorologist instead, she experienced a sudden partial loss of vision and numbness in her arm and hand — two of the main symptoms of stroke. She said she was “feeling great” before the show.

Dr. Neil Schwartz, director of the Young Stroke Program at the Stanford Stroke Center, said in an interview that Ms. Chen may have had a transient ischemic attack, which can mimic a stroke. With a TIA, as it’s called, blood flow to the brain is restored more quickly, and it often prevents the kind of brain injury that can occur from a stroke. Dr. Schwartz said it’s hard to say how many people are diagnosed with a TIA each year, because there’s no definitive test for that.

“We consider a TIA a medical emergency just as much as we consider a stroke,” said Dr. Schwartz. “It gives doctors the possibility to intervene before someone actually has a stroke.”

He praised Ms. Chen for seeking medical help as quickly as she did. With stroke, Dr. Schwartz said, there is a strict time window for some treatments.

“When people have stroke-like symptoms, we don’t want them to go back to sleep or wait until Monday to tell their doctor,” he said. “It’s better to err on the side of caution.”

Stroke symptoms can include difficulty speaking, a headache, or even difficulty with balance and walking. If a person’s face is drooping and unable to smile or cannot raise their arms, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Experts often use the acronym “BEFAST” to remind people of symptoms to look out for: loss of balance, vision changes, facial drooping, arm weakness, slurred speech, with the last item, time, and that means calling 911 quickly.

Ms. Chen is not the first person to experience stroke symptoms on television. In 2011, CBS Los Angeles correspondent Serene Branson started She blinks at her words and struggles to speakMany suggested she might have had a stroke. She was eventually diagnosed with “migraine with aura,” which can manifest like a stroke.

KJRH said in a Facebook statement that several viewers have called and emailed to check on Ms. Chen and that the station was happy to share that she is doing well.

“We wish her well on her path to recovery and the rest she deserves,” station said.

Ms Chen said she would take the test to try to get more answers but was looking forward to returning to the installation office.

“In a few days, I will be back in the office to share the stories I love with the community I love,” she said. “I thank you all for your love and support for me so well.”

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