During a stroke, 2 million brain cells are lost every minute. Blood flow to your brains is stopped and your brain is unable to get a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients, easily causing brain damage. At Saint Vincent Hospital, our stroke center focuses on stroke prevention and prompt stroke care to prevent death and brain damage. If you think you may be having a stroke, call 911 immediately.
Act F.A.S.T. to Identify Signs of a Stroke
FAST is an easy way to remember the signs of a stroke. Use these signs to identify a stroke occurring in someone you know:
Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop? Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly? Time: If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately . Every second counts because brain cells could be dying.
Not every warning sign will occur in every stroke. And even if these warning signs do go away, they shouldn’t be ignored. A transient ischemic attack (or TIA) is sometimes referred to as a mini-stroke, and produces symptoms similar to a stroke, but only lasts for a short time. But TIA symptoms serve as an important warning that a stroke could be imminent, and it’s important to respond the same way to a TIA as you would to stroke symptoms.
If you see these signs, call 911 so an ambulance can quickly get the person to the hospital. When talking to 911, an emergency medical service or the hospital, be sure to use the word “stroke” in order to possibly speed up a diagnosis. Every minute counts when treating a stroke, raising the number of brain cells that can be saved and chances for recovery.
Your next step: Connect with a physician in your area.