What is a stroke?
A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, happens when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. When brain cells are starved of oxygen, they die. Stroke is a medical emergency. It’s important to get treatment as soon as possible. A delay in treatment increases the risk of permanent brain damage or death. By knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke, you could save a life, maybe even your own!
Signs of Stroke
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speakers, or difficulty understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
It is important to act F.A.S.T. Stroke patients who recognize symptoms and are diagnosed during the three-hour window have a better chance of getting the treatment they need. If you or someone you know is having a stroke try the sample test below.
F: Face – As the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A: Arms – Raise both arms. Does one arm drift down?
S: Speech – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or does it sound strange?
T: Time – If you see any of these signs call 9-1-1 right away! Note the time the first symptoms appeared to call an ambulance so medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment. Do not drive anyone or yourself to the emergency room!