Have you heard of the acronym, F.A.S.T.? If you haven’t, it is important to learn as it is an easy way to recognize the sudden signs of a stroke.
F.A.S.T. stands for:
F = Face drooping. If one side of the face is numb or drooping, this is a warning sign.
A = Arm weakness. Is one arm numb or weak? If when a person raises both arms above the head and one arm is drifting downward, this is a warning sign.
S = Speech Difficulty. If speech is suddenly slurred, there is an inability to speak or not able to repeat phrases, this is also a warning sign.
T = Time to call 911. Time is critical, and if a person is showing any of the above signs, it is important to seek medical help immediately (even if the warning signs go away). Try and remember the timing of the first symptoms so that the emergency team can have this information.
Additional signs may include:
- numbness on one side of the body
- sudden confusion
- blurry vision
- sudden loss of coordination
According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States and is a leading cause of long-term disability and the leading preventable cause of disability.
Adopting “brain-healthy” activities can help reduce the chance of a stroke. These include:
- healthy weight management
- not smoking
- healthy eating habits
- a consistent exercise regimen
- sleeping 7-8 hours each night
- monitoring blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels
Take the time to learn the warning signs and to share this information with your loved ones.
Lastly, remember to act quickly if you see these signs in order to seek medical attention as soon as possible.