World Stroke Day raises awareness of the serious nature of strokes. Strokes are a top cause of death worldwide and a leading cause of disability. A stroke is a life-changing event, both physically and emotionally.
A stroke is an attack on the brain. It occurs when a blood vessel (also called an artery) ruptures while bringing oxygen and blood to the brain. When this occurs, the brain cells immediately die due to lack of oxygen.
F.A.S.T. Warning Signs
Use the letter in F.A.S.T. to spot a Stroke
- F = Face Drooping - Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
- A = Arm Weakness - Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- S = Speech Difficulty - Is speech slurred?
- T = Time to call 911
Other stroke symptoms to watch out for if they come on suddenly:
- NUMBNESS or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- CONFUSION, trouble speaking or understanding speech.
- TROUBLE SEEING in one or both eyes
- TROUBLE WALKING, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- SEVERE HEADACHE with no known cause.
Stroke can heppen to anyone, at any age or any time, and is an emergency. Early treatment leads to higher survival rates and lower disability rates. Calling 911 lets first responders start treatment before even arriving at the hospital.
Please take the time today to memorize the F.A.S.T. warning signs.