The Warning Signs Of A Stroke: The Key To Act FAST
"What Is A Stroke? "
"Our brain controls all the functions of our body, including breathing and digestion. When the blood supply to the brain gets blocked, it starts losing oxygen and the brain cells start dying. This is what happens during a stroke. A stroke is a brain attack when a part of the brain gets damaged. Not only can a stroke result in long-lasting damage and disability, but it might also result in death. Hence, it is extremely crucial to understand the signs and symptoms of a stroke and get emergency medical help. "
Signs And Symptoms Of A Stroke:
- Sudden weakness and numbness in arms, legs or face, especially in one side of the body
- Sudden severe headache without any reason
- Sudden loss of vision and strength
- A sudden feeling of dizziness and lack of coordination
- Sudden loss of speech or experiencing confusion and trouble understanding speech
- Other symptoms may include vomiting, nausea, hiccups etc. along with these symptoms
- There are some rare signs as well to indicate a stroke such as sudden behavioural change, hallucinations and shortage of breath.
Act FAST And Recognise A Stroke
Experts recommend to act FAST and remember this acronym to identify the symptoms of a stroke. Treatment is required within three hours of identifying the first symptom. Hence, it is extremely crucial to know these symptoms and remember to act FAST.
- F - Face: A droop or an uneven smile on the face of a person is a warning sign of stroke. Ask him to smile to help recognise the sign better.
- A - Arms: Weakness or numbness in the arm is a warning sign. Ask the person to lift his arm and if the arm isn't steady and drifts downwards, this might indicate a stroke.
- S - Speech: Slurred and strange speech is a symptom of a stroke. Ask the person to say a simple phrase, if you notice strange speech, then it might indicate a stroke.
- T - Time: Acting fast is the key to saving stroke patients. Every minute counts. As soon as you see any of these signs, call emergency medical help immediately.
Hospital Right Away
It is not necessary that you may experience all the symptoms of the stroke. Even if you experience any or a few symptoms, you must go to the hospital right away. Call for a local medical emergency. Time is the most crucial element here, timely treatment can prevent death and disability. Don't forget to note down the time of the first symptom. Strokes can be treated if medical treatment is availed on time. Educate the people around you and make them aware of these symptoms, especially the FAST acronym. The most prominent signs are sudden numbness and weakness in the body and slurred speech. Recognise the signs of a stroke and avert and minimise the chances of a deathly situation.
Dr Suresh Reddy
Consultant – Neuro Physician
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the organization.