Healthy Living

Would You Recognize A Stroke If You Saw One?

Every 40 seconds, a stroke occurs in the United States, and Ad Council research shows that 28% of Americans wouldn’t recognize the signs. The American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association (ASA) have joined with the Ad Council to launch their first national multimedia public service campaign to raise awareness about F.A.S.T., an acronym for recognizing and responding to the sudden warning signs of stroke.

F.A.S.T. is:

Face Drooping Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

Arm Weakness Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech Difficulty Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 911 If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

What to do if you think someone is having a stroke:

Immediately call 9-1-1 or the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) number so an ambulance can be sent.  Also, check the time so you’ll know when the first stroke symptoms appeared. A clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may improve the chances of getting better but only if you get them help right away.

A TIA or transient ischemic attack is a “warning stroke” or “mini-stroke” that produces stroke-like symptoms. TIA symptoms usually only last a few minutes but, if left untreated, people who have TIAs have a high risk of stroke. Recognizing and treating TIAs can reduce the risk of a major stroke.

Beyond F.A.S.T. — Other Symptoms you should know:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg
  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

When it comes to stroke, time is critical. F.A.S.T. is an acronym that can help people to spot a stroke quickly, so that they can get medical help as soon as possible. The quicker you get to a hospital, the quicker you can potentially get critical treatment that may reduce disability and death from stroke.

Information courtesy of : http://www.strokeassociation.org

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