Learn the Signs of Stroke to Save a Life
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or severely reduced. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is crucial, as early action can minimize brain damage and potential complications. The acronym F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke:
1. Face drooping
Does one side of the face droop, or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the smile uneven?
2. Arm weakness
Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
3. Speech difficulty
Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
4. Time to call 911
If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get to the hospital immediately. Check the time, so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.
Remember: Every minute counts. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential of brain damage and disability. Call 911 right away at the first signs of a stroke.