Recognizing Stroke “FAST” Can Save a Life

10514249_mTime is your biggest enemy when having a stroke. Very quick treatment can sometimes reverse a stroke. The longer it goes untreated, the more damage it does to the brain and after the first three hours, the most effective treatment is no longer an option. Those who survive can suffer permanent disability as a result of injury to the brain, but for those who receive immediate treatment disability can be avoidable.


FAST can help you remember the signs of stroke:

  • Face – drooping in one side of the face. Ask the person to smile, you are looking for an uneven or crooked smile.
  • Arms – weakness in one arm. Ask the person to raise both arms. Look for one arm drifting down.
  • Speech – slurred speech or difficulty speaking. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. If his or her speech is difficult to understand or have difficulty understanding or remembering the phrase, that is a warning sign.
  • Time – call 911 immediately if someone is displaying the above symptoms.

Stroke Symptoms

If any of the following come on suddenly, it can be a sign of stroke:

  • Dizziness or loss of coordination
  • Difficulty walking, loss of balance, or stumbling
  • Severe headache with no known cause
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty putting a thought into words
  • Difficulty understanding the meaning when other people speak
  • Vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Numbness or weakness, usually on one side of the body

Women may experience unusual symptoms including:

  • Chest pain
  • Pain in the face or limbs
  • Heart palpitations
  • Altered mental state
  • Hiccups
  • Shortness of breath
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