Symptoms of a stroke
May is officially Stroke Awareness Month and a good time to make sure you know the signs and symptoms of a stroke so you can get quick emergency help for your friends and family members who might be having a stroke. The importance of acting quickly is captured in the campaign by the American Stroke Association (ASA) with the letters F.A.S.T. — each stands for a different sign or symptom and the “T” is another reminder of when it’s Time to call 9-1-1. Here are the F.A.S.T. reminders from the ASA:
- Face Drooping - Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
- Arm Weakness - Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech Difficulty - Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
- Time to call 9-1-1 - If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.
Beyond F.A.S.T., the ASA says you should also look for these signs:
- Sudden numbness or the leg, arm or face.
- Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
For more information on stroke, you can go to the AHA website at www.strokeassociation.org.
Healthy Habits 2014 is a partnership among Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and St. Mary’s Medical Center. We are a community working together to improve our health. Our goal is a simple one; to inform and encourage area residents on ways to improve their health. Join our conversation and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook. com/healthyhabitshuntington
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