Do you know the signs of a stroke?
F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of a stroke. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know quickly that you need to call 911 for help. This is important because the sooner a stroke victim gets to the hospital, the sooner he or she will get treatment. And that can make a remarkable difference in recovery.
Face Drooping. Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
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 911. If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get him to the hospital immediately.
In addition to F.A.S.T., the symptoms below could also be signs of a stroke.
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg
- 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
Note: African Americans are twice as likely to die from stroke as whites. The rate of first strokes in African Americans is nearly double that of Caucasians, and strokes tend to occur earlier in life for African Americans. In addition, African-American stroke survivors are more likely to become disabled.