F- face drooping
A- arm weakness
S- speech slurred
T- time matters
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call 911 right away. (Remember, if you can’t speak, in many states you can now TEXT 911. Check your state policy for specifics.)
To do a quick neurological assessment of a loved one, ask them to smile. Is their face symmetrical? Is there any unusual droopiness? If you ask them to lift their arms in front of them, does one arm drift? Can they squeeze your hands with equal strength? How is their speech? Is it slurred? Is it nonsensical? Does one pupil look larger than the other? If any of these assessments are abnormal to you, they may be experiencing a stroke and need immediate attention.
Other symptoms of stroke include sudden severe headache, impaired vision in one or both eyes, sudden confusion, dizziness and lack of coordination.
Quick recognition of symptoms and swift treatment of stroke will minimize risk to life or long lasting brain damage.
The time that the symptoms first appeared should be noted as it will matter in how the stroke is treated. Do not drive or have someone else drive you. Call 911 so treatment can begin in the ambulance.
The hospitals are equipped to take care of you. Recognizing the signs of stroke just might save you or a loved one’s life. For more information on strokes visit the American Stroke Association https://www.stroke.org.