Dear readers: Some time ago, father of a friend of mine had suffered a stroke – he’s still alive and on his way to recovery mostly because of the prompt and immediate reaction of the people who were there when it happened.
Those first few hours following a stroke are what decide between living or dying, between serious and irreversible brain damage and a minor, repairable one.
Identifying and treating a stroke as quickly as possible can and does save brain cells, brain function, and ultimately, lives. With this in mind, all of us need to know the warning signs of a stroke and when to get help as fast as possible.
So, what signs to look for to suspect a stroke?
I like The U.S. National Stroke Association’s mnemonic FAST as it both conveys the urgency of the situation and it helps us memorize the most important clues. Remember it as Act FAST!
Here’s what it stands for:
F – Face: Ask the person to smile and look if it is symmetrical – does one side of the person’s face lag or droop?
A – Arms: Ask the person to extend and raise both arms – does one arm slowly drift downward?
S – Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence and listen for the words – are the words slurred? Is the sentence incorrectly repeated?
T – Time: If the answer to any of the questions is Yes, every second counts! Call 911 (Emergency) or use another way to get to the hospital as soon as possible – brain cells are in peril and the first few hours are the most crucial!
Yours in Health,