(Think FAST to Identify Stroke Warning Signs.)
In an emergency it can be difficult to remember the mostcommon symptoms of a stroke. FAST helps you remember these symptoms so that youmay act quickly and call 9-1-1 to help someone receive help and treatment assoon as possible. For a patient who has had a stroke early response times maylead to a better recovery.
Stroke is the sudden interruption of circulation in one ormore of the blood vessels supplying the brain. During a stroke, brain tissue failsto receive adequate oxygenation, resulting in serious tissue damage ornecrosis. The speed with which circulation is restored determines the patient’schances for complete recovery.
Signs of Stroke:
When assessing signs of stroke, “sudden” is the key word. Signs typically includethe sudden onset of:
• Headache with no known cause
• Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
• Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
• Trouble seeing or walking, dizziness, loss of coordination.
Use FAST to Remember the Warning Signs of a Stroke
1. F. Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of theface drop?
2. A. Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
3. S. Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
4. T. Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Call 9-1-1 Immediately if you observe any of the symptoms above. Make note of the time the first symptom occurred. Treatment decisions are frequently made based on this information.