Think F.A.S.T: How to Tell if Someone You Know is Having a Stroke [Health Infographic]
May is American Stroke Month. Do you know the warning signs of stroke? The American Heart Association reports every 40 seconds someone has a stroke. It can happen to anyone, at any age. Recognizing the signs and taking immediate action can make the difference between life and death for someone you love. The sooner the treatment, the less chance a person risks developing serious brain damage. Learn the stroke warning signs to watch out for. By doing so, you may just save a life.
Stroke Warning Signs
Stroke symptoms may develop gradually or come on sudden. Note when the signs and symptoms begin, it can help inform medical personnel of the best treatment options and proper course of action to take. Warning signs to watch out for include:
- Numbness or weakness in the arm, leg, or on one side of the face
- Disorientation or confusion
- Slurred speech
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Difficulty walking or balancing
- Severe headache that comes on sudden
What to Do When You Suspect Someone is Having Stroke
If you suspect someone you know is having a stroke, the most important thing you can do is remain calm. Next, check the person for stroke warning signs; don't wait to see if any of the symptoms pass. Following the steps below will help you remain in control of the situation and ensure the person receives the care they need.
- Call 911
- If the person is conscious, position them on their side with their head raised and supported.
- Do not offer the person any food or drink.
- Loosen tight clothing that could interfere with breathing.
- If the person is unconscious, check their breathing and pulse and move them on their side. If you do not detect a pulse, start performing CPR immediately.
- Remain with the person until paramedics and emergency personnel arrive.
- Hand over any notes, you may have taken, to the paramedics when they arrive.
What does F.A.S.T Stand For?
F.A.S.T is a quick and easy way to identity some of the most common stroke warning signs. It stands for face, arms, speech, and time. Use the health infographic below to help you detect if someone you know is having a stroke.
[Information obtained from WebMD, National Institutes of Health, and American Heart Association]
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