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Warning Signs of a Stroke: Think F.A.S.T.

Posted in: Education

If you think you (or someone you know) may be having a stroke, you have to move FAST!
FAST is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. Remember:

  • Face: Does the face look uneven?
  • Arm: Is one arm or leg suddenly weak?
  • Speech: Does speech sound strange?
  • Time: It’s time to call 911.

Beyond FAST, other common stroke symptoms you should know include:

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

It’s critical to go to the emergency room (ER) as soon as possible after the onset of stroke symptoms. If the stroke is being caused by a blood clot, the ER team will evaluate to see if they can safely administer tPA, which is more commonly known as the clot-busting drug. If given within 4.5 hours of the stroke, tPA has been very successful in dissolving stroke-causing clots and restoring blood flow, thereby improving the chances for recovery.

If you or someone you know has a stroke, time is your enemy. The quicker you get to a hospital, the less damage the stroke can do to the brain. Recognizing the warning signs when you see them and acting FAST by calling 9-1-1 could save your life or the life of a loved one.