What Are The Warning Signs of Stroke?

A stroke is a massive medical emergency requiring immediate treatment. It happens when a blood vessel carrying nutrients and oxygen to the brain bursts or becomes blocked by a clot, cutting off the flow of blood and oxygen the brain needs. This can cause serious brain damage and death. In fact, strokes are the number four cause of deaths in the US, despite the fact that 80% of strokes are considered preventable.

Many lifestyle choices, medical conditions, and medications increase one’s risk of stroke, so it’s important to be aware of your risk factors and limit them as much as possible. Even with awareness, someone in the US has a stroke every 40 seconds, and that makes it all the more important that we all take the time to educate ourselves about the warning signs of stroke. With this simple information, we can better identify the initial signs of stroke in ourselves or others, and in this way, we can facilitate faster access to emergency medical treatment if a stroke is taking place. Fortunately, there is a simple way to memorize the signs of stroke: F.A.S.T.

FAST Stroke Signs

F: Facial drooping or sagging
A: Arm weakness
S: Speech difficulty or speech slurring
T: Time to call 911

If you suspect that you or someone around you is having a stroke, call 911 for immediate medical attention. The sooner a stroke patient receives proper medical attention, the better his odds are of a positive outcome.

After a stroke, it’s important to always wear medical ID jewelry so that emergency medical personnel will always know about your history of stroke and about any related lingering effects. For example, if you have speech impairments due to a past stroke, in an emergency situation, it is vital that EMTs and ER doctors know that your speech impairment isn’t a new symptom and that it is the result of a past stroke. This will help them treat you more quickly and accurately.

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