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Do you know the symptoms of a stroke?

Think F.A.S.T. and check the face, arms, speech, and time.

Every second counts when it comes to getting treatment for a stroke, the interruption of blood flow to the brain that occurs when a blood vessel is blocked or ruptures. “From the time symptoms begin, we have only three—or in rarer cases, four-and-a-half—hours to give someone a clot-busting drug that can restore blood flow and keep brain cells from dying,” says Dr. Natalia Rost, director of acute stroke services at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

To help you remember stroke symptoms, think F.A.S.T.

F

ACE

Can you smile? Does one side of your face droop?

A

RMS

Can you raise both arms?

PEECH

Is your speech slurred? Can you repeat a simple phrase?

T

IME

Time is critical when treating stroke, so call 911 immediately.

That’s why you need to be able to recognize the condition as soon as it occurs. Stroke symptoms come on suddenly, are a new experience, and have no explained cause. They can include dizziness, loss of balance, and trouble walking; trouble seeing in one or both eyes; difficulty speaking or understanding others; and numbness or weakness on one side of the body, especially evident in the face, arm, or leg. A sudden terrible headache, unlike previous headaches, is also a danger sign. If any of these symptoms occur, you must call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to drive yourself or someone else with these symptoms to the hospital. “Call an ambulance, because the paramedics will know which hospitals are best equipped to treat stroke,” says Dr. Rost. 

Posted by: Dr.Health

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