If you, or someone you know, were having a stroke—how would you know? Do you know the signs or symptoms? One way to be sure is by remembering four letters that make up a stroke symptoms acronym.
There are two types of strokes that are most common.
Depending on the type of stroke, damage to the brain cells is caused by either lack of oxygen or excess pressure on the brain cells caused by bleeding. Immediate treatment may prevent the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death. Some of the long-term effects could include:
Time is critical when someone is having a stroke. They say “time is brain.” The longer the stroke persists, the more damage it will do to the brain. So, a good way to remind yourself if you think someone is showing signs is by keeping a stroke acronym in mind.
To help you recognize the signs there is a stroke symptoms acronym you can use to help you remember. All you have to do is to think F.AS.T.
Face—a drooping face. Ask the person to smile. If one side of their face does not respond, call for help.
Arm—if one arm drifts downward, that’s the sign of a stroke. Ask the person to raise both arms and look to see if they can do it. If not, call for help.
Speech—Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. If their speech slurred or strange, call for help.
Time—don’t waste time, call 911 immediately. Time is brain.
The American Heart Association says there are additional symptoms that may signal a stroke, such as:
The good news is that many strokes are preventable. Proper medical screening and healthy lifestyle choices will decrease your risk significantly. But when you see any of these stroke warning signs, remember the stroke symptoms acronym and act F.A.S.T.!
If you think you or someone you love is experiencing stroke symptoms, get to your nearest emergency room. If you’d like to learn more about stroke, or some of the signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease, download our free guide: “The Heart Disease Facts That Can Change Your Life.”