Recognizing the symptoms of a stroke are as important as noticing the signs that someone may be having heart trouble. Strokes are time-sensitive injuries to the brain which require rapid recognition and treatment in order for patients to have the best chance for a positive outcome. Fortunately, recognizing the symptoms of stroke is not difficult, requiring simply remembering the word: FAST
Face – look for a drooping eye or smile on one side of the face
Arms – notice one arm weaker than the other, or the inability of the patient to move one arm
Speech – listen for abnormal speech patterns sounds such as slurring of words or an inability to speak at all
Time – think rapid delivery to the ER. Call 911 as soon as you notice anything above so the patient can be evaluated and treated at your local ER.
The more aware of stroke symptoms we all are, the safer our community will be. Together we can prevent poor outcomes for our loved ones and neighbors.