Think F.A.S.T. to Easily Identify Signs of Stroke
According to the
American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death, killing nearly 129,000 Americans
each year and is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States.
But what exactly is a stroke? The disease, most commonly found in two
forms, affects the arteries leading to and within the brain.
The first, an ischemic stroke, occurs when a clot obstructs the flow of
blood to the brain and the second, a hemorrhagic stroke, occurs when a
blood vessel carrying oxygen to the brain ruptures, preventing blood flow
to the brain. In addition, a TIA (transient ischemic attack) or “mini
stroke” is caused by a temporary blood clot.Although the risk of
stroke is prevalent, quick action and identification of symptoms can increase
the chances of recovery. If you believe someone is experiencing a stroke,
remember this simple acronym: F.A.S.T.
F –Face. Ask the person to smile for you. Does one side of their face droop? Is
their smile uneven?
A –Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Is either
arm numb? Are they having difficulty keeping one arm up?
S –Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “today is Monday”
or “I love you.” Is their speech slurred? Does it sound off?
Are they stuttering? Are there any inconsistencies to how they normally speak?
T – Time. If any of the signs above are noticeable, call 9-1-1 immediately. Getting
to a hospital rapidly will more likely lead to a better recovery. Also,
take note of what time it is so you can let medical professionals know
when the symptoms started.
Other symptoms of stroke include sudden trouble seeing out of one or both
eyes, confusion, trouble walking, dizziness and loss of balance. Stroke
can happen to anyone, at any time. If you believe that you or anyone you
know may be experiencing signs of stroke, call 9-1-1 for immediate help.