Knowing the warning signs of a stroke can not only save your own life, but that of someone close to you as well. In fact, most of us know someone who has suffered a stroke and have seen its damaging effects.
An easy way to assess someone, even a passerby on the street, who may be experiencing stroke is to remember to act F.A.S.T.
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F – Face – Has the face fallen on one side? Ask the person to smile and watch to see if the person’s smile is asymmetrical or if they have more difficulty moving one side of the face compared to the other.
A – Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms at the same time and hold them there. If the person shows weakness in one arm, it may be a warning sign.
S – Speech – Ask the person to say 2 or 3 simple sentences, such as “Don’t cry over spilt milk.” or “The sky is blue in Cincinnati.” If the person slurs their words or cannot complete the sentences then they may be suffering from a stroke.
T – Time – It is extremely important to note the time that the symptoms started, as physicians only have a 3-hour window to administer anti-clotting medication (blood thinners) to slow or stop the effects of a stroke.
If you suspect that you or someone else is having a stroke, call 911 and get help right away! Share this information with friends and family, especially those who are aging or have family history of stroke, and you just may save a life!