When you have a stroke, your brain is not getting the blood it needs. You need immediate treatment to reduce the risk of brain damage, disability, or even death.
Use the FAST test to check for the most common stroke symptoms in yourself or someone else.
Face: Smile and see if one side of the face droops.
Arms: Raise both arms up. One hand down?
Speech: Use short phrases and check for slurs or slurs.
Timing: If the answer is yes to any of these, call 911 immediately and write down the time your symptoms started.
Minutes are important in treating stroke. Calling a doctor or driving yourself to the hospital is a waste of time. Emergency personnel can assess your condition more quickly, which increases your chances of getting the treatment you need as soon as possible.
Depending on the type of stroke, doctors may prescribe aspirin or strong anti-clotting drugs. For best results, take this medication within 3 hours of the onset of symptoms. If your stroke is caused by a burst blood vessel, doctors will try to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible.
Sometimes a stroke happens slowly, but you may experience one or more sudden symptoms:
Numbness or weakness in the face, arms, or legs, especially on one side
Confusion or difficulty understanding others
Difficult to say
Difficulty seeing with one or both eyes
Problems with walking, balance and coordination
Severe headache for no apparent reason
If you experience these symptoms, call 911 even if you’re not sure you’re having a stroke.
About 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year. They can happen to anyone at any time. Contingency planning can make a big difference.
Know the signs of a stroke and tell your family and friends.
If you have any health problems, wear a health bracelet or other identification that lists them, allergies, or medications you are taking.
Teach your kids how to do the FAST test, and how to call 911, give your address, and explain what’s going on.