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The American Heart Association reports that each year 800,000 people have a stroke and about 130,000 die because of it. That makes stroke a leading cause of death in the United States. Do you know the warning signs? Would you know to act immediately if you saw the symptoms? When minutes make all the difference, it is important you and your loved ones are educated on stroke warning signs and do not hesitate to seek medical help.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke happens when a clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain. It can also be caused by a burst blood vessel in the brain. In either case, because the brain isn’t getting the blood or oxygen it needs, a person will suffer brain damage, disability, or death.
The Warning Signs
The American Stroke Association uses the word F.A.S.T. to not only help people recognize the warning signs for a stroke but also stress the need to act quickly for immediate medical attention if these symptoms are present.
F “Face Drooping” You will see an uneven smile and droop on one side of the face.
A “Arm Weakness” You will notice one side of the body is numb or feels weaker. Can they lift their arms over their head without one being noticeably lower? Weakness or numbness can also affect just one side of the body including legs.
S “Speech Difficulty” You will notice a slur in speech, and have difficulty understanding what they are saying. They may even suddenly not to be able to talk at all and seem confused. The American Stroke Association recommend you ask the person to repeat a simple phrase such as “The sky is blue” to test their speaking ability.
T “Time to Call 911” If you think the symptoms you see could be any of the warning signs for stroke, it is important to get immediate medical attention. Pay close attention to the time when you first saw symptoms and do not hesitate to call. It is important to note that seeing just one of these symptoms is reason enough to call. Even if symptoms go away on their own, you still need to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Other Symptoms to Watch for:
- Sudden loss of balance and difficulty wallking
- Sudden loss of coordination
- Sudden, unexplained headache
- Sudden vision problems
Download the FAST App to help you remember stroke warning signs. https://news.heart.org/f-a-s-t-stroke-app-helps-save-a-life/
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