Don’t dismiss the symptoms of a stroke – act right away!
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US and also the primary cause of long-term disability.
The faster and more effectively you can respond to stroke, the better the patient’s outcome.
The most common “mistake” people make is waiting — some for symptoms to improve, while others are in denial and discount the symptoms until they become debilitating. If you experience any of these symptoms, come to the Emergency Department immediately:
- Sudden onset of numbness or tingling in your arms legs or face or particularly one side of the body
- Weakness on one side or part of the body
- Trouble speaking or difficulty finding the right words
- Sudden onset of unconsciousness
- Trouble walking, or feeling off-balance;
- Sudden onset headache of unknown cause.
The American Stroke Association has developed an easy-to-remember aid to help identify and respond to a possible stroke – FAST!
F = Face drooping. Is one side of the person’s face drooping or numb? Or is their smile uneven?
A = Arm weakness. Is one arm experiencing weakness or numbness? If both arms are raised, does one droop down?
S = Speech difficulty. If the person is asked to repeat a simple phrase, can they repeat it back? Is it slurred or hard to understand?
T = Time to call 9-1-1. If any of these signs are present, dial 9-1-1 immediately and note when the symptoms first appeared.