A stroke, also known as a brain attack, occurs when blood flow to the brain stops, and the brain cells in the area begin to die. A stroke can affect the entire body.
Acting fast can make a big difference for someone who’s having a stroke. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) emphasizes that getting emergency help within an hour can prevent long-term disability or death.
The ability to recognize the warning signs of stroke mean the difference between life and death. Read on to learn what they are.
What it means to “Act FAST”
Warning signs of stroke are unique because they come on suddenly, without warning. The National Stroke Association suggests using the term “FAST” to help you recognize common stroke symptoms.
- F for face– If you notice a droop or uneven smile on a person’s face, this is a warning sign.
- A for arms– Arm numbness or weakness can be a warning sign. You can ask the person to raise their arms if you’re unsure. It’s a warning sign if the arm drops down or isn’t steady.
- S for speech difficulty– Ask the person to repeat something. Slurred speech can indicate that the person is having a stroke.
- T for time– If someone is experiencing stroke symptoms, it’s time to act fast.
Additional warning signs of stroke may include:
- vision troubles, in one or both eyes
- numbness in limbs, most likely on one side
- overall fatigue
- trouble walking
If you feel these signs yourself, or see them affecting someone else, call 911 or your local emergency services. Get more information about first aid for stroke.
In order to prevent a stroke or heart attack, you should keep your arteries clean. It is very important to check your cholesterol and triglycerides regularly because they are the main reason for clogged arteries.
Symptoms of stroke in women
Women can have unique symptoms.
These symptoms can also happen suddenly, and include:
- general weakness
- shortness of breath
- confusion or unresponsiveness
- sudden behavioral change
- nausea or vomiting
Don’t wait to call for help
What if you notice that someone is having just one of the warning signs for stroke?
Maybe their face is drooping, but they can still walk and talk fine and there’s no weakness in their arms or legs. In a situation like this, it’s still important to act fast if there’s any chance you’re seeing the warning signs of a stroke.
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