May is Stroke Awareness Month. It’s a good time to educate yourself about the warning signs of a stroke and how you can help save lives and improve recovery by responding F.A.S.T.
Last year, many of the 795,000 Americans who suffered a stroke did not get the right lifesaving treatment in time. In an effort to help decrease that number, we want to help educate people about the signs and symptoms of a stroke. It’s easy to remember through the acronym F.A.S.T.
Face drooping – Does one side of the face droop, or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
Arm weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech difficultly – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like, “The grass is green.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
Time to call 9-1-1 – If any of these symptoms are shown, even if they appear to go away, call 9-1-1, and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you know when the first symptoms appeared.
Other symptoms to be aware of:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg
- Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
To learn more about the warning signs go to strokeassociation.org/warningsigns.
If you think you are at risk for a stroke, talk to your health care provider so they can work together with you to prevent or treat medical conditions that can lead to stroke.