Stroke Warning Signs: A stroke is a serious medical emergency. It occurs when the brain tissue is deprived of oxygen and nutrients due to interrupted or severely reduced blood supply. The brain cells begin to die within minutes and prompt treatment is crucial. It is important to take early action to minimize brain damage or even death. Learning to think and act F.A.S.T can save a life or help limit the long-term effects of a stroke.
Stroke Warning Signs - Think & Act FAST: #1 Face Drooping
The biggest warning sign of a stroke is face dropping. One side of the face may droop or become numb. Controlling facial expressions, such as smiling, can be difficult.
Stroke Warning Signs - Think & Act FAST: #2 Arm Weakness
Look for weakness or numbness in the arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Check if one arm drifts downward or if they can keep their arms raised.
Stroke Warning Signs - Think & Act FAST: #3 Speech Difficulty
A major warning sign for stroke is speech difficulty. One may be unable to speak or their speech is slurred and hard to understand. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. If unsuccessful, medical service may be necessary.
Stroke Warning Signs - Think & Act FAST: #4 Time to Call 911
If any of the above symptoms are present, even if the symptoms go away, it is time to call 911. Get to a hospital immediately.
Stroke Warning Signs - Think & Act FAST: #5 Additional Warning Signs
- Confusion or trouble understanding
- Numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
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