Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. A family history of stroke and lifestyle choices increases your risk. Knowing the F.A.S.T. stroke symptoms can help you avoid being severely disabled by a stroke since getting immediate medical attention is the key to a faster more complete recovery.
What Is F.A.S.T. Stroke Symptoms?
Symptoms can vary from person to person who experiences a stroke. In general, however, these three symptoms, and what to do if you or someone you know has them, can save a life.
F for Face drooping
When someone has a stroke it is common for one side of their face to droop. When oxygen rich blood is cut off to the brain this can cause nerve and muscle damage. The muscles become weak and sag. If you see or experience this, call 911 immediately.
A for Arm weakness
A weakening of arm muscles on one side of the body is called hemiparesis. The side of the brain and location of a stroke will determine where your body suddenly becomes weak. If your right arm is numb and weakened the left side of your brain is most likely where the stroke has occurred.
S for Speech difficulties
Someone having a stroke may suddenly be unable to understand speech or have difficulty speaking. Slurred or garbled speech is a big stroke warning sign. Sometimes the person having a stroke may lose the ability to speak at all.
T for Time to call 911
A stroke is a medical emergency, and that’s why the fast stroke protocol is so important. Getting treatment immediately is crucial for a better recovery. If you experience F, A, or S do not try to drive yourself to the hospital. You could lose your ability to see clearly, steer the car and even pass out. Call 911 and wait for help.
If you see anyone with F, A or S symptoms get them immediate medical attention. It’s best to call for an ambulance and let professionals care for your loved one rather than you trying to drive them to the hospital yourself. Their sirens will clear traffic and get the victim critical timely care to aid in recovery.