F.A.S.T. thinking can detect signs of a stroke, and possibly save a life!
A stroke occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. The cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. Abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost.
If you suspect you are experiencing a stroke, or see someone who could be, remember the elements of F.A.S.T. thinking:
- FACE DROOPING The brain contains nerves that control muscles in the face. Damage to these cells causes paralysis.
- ARM WEAKNESS A stroke can increase or decrease the normal tension in your arm or shoulder muscles. Paralysis, numbness or limited feeling can occur.
- SPEECH DIFFICULTY When the left side of the brain is affected by a stroke, a language impairment can occur. Some people have difficulty understanding what they hear or read. Others cannot communicate their thoughts.
- TIME TO CALL 911 Time is important! Even if the symptoms go away, it’s critical to get an immediate medical assessment to determine the cause and monitor the condition.
A small stroke may result in minor problems such as temporary weakness in an arm or leg. Larger strokes can permanently damage one side of the body or prevent all ability to speak. More than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.
Practice F.A.S.T. thinking to get proper care as soon as possible.