Be Ready to Act - F.A.S.T.
In 1989, May was proclaimed National Stroke Awareness month with the goal of increasing public awareness about the warning signs of a stroke and getting those who suffer strokes into medical care quickly.
The American Stroke Association came up with a simple tool that is easy to remember and will help people recognize symptoms of a stroke. By learning and sharing their F.A.S.T. warning signs, early action can be taken and the outcome of survival and recovery improved.
Here are the evaluations and actions F.A.S.T. stands for:
- F is for FACE Is the face drooping or is it numb? Is the person's smile or frown uneven?
- A is for ARM Is one arm numb or seem weaker than normal? Raise both arms simultaneously. Does one arm drift downward?
- S is for SPEECH Is speech slurred? Repeat a simple sentence. Was it difficult to understand?
- T is for TIME The sooner a person is diagnosed and treated for stroke, the higher the chances are they will survive and recover. If a person shows any of these signs, even if the signs have gone away, seek immediate medical attention by calling 9-1-1. Every minute counts.
Additional signs of a stroke include the sudden onset of any of the following:
- Numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
- Confusion, trouble understanding or speaking
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Severe headache with no obvious cause
Being aware of stroke symptoms by remembering F.A.S.T is a first step toward being prepared. To read and learn more about stroke signs and symptoms, prevention, and recovery, go to the American Stroke Association website: stroke.org