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Know the Warning Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke

By Heather Brown
February 23, 2015

Know the Warning Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke

How do you know whether somebody has stroke? What should you look out for to know if one contracts stroke? Well, think F.A.S.T.

The easiest way to know the most common stroke signs and symptoms is using the F.A.S.T. test which is basically 4 simple questions:

F– Face drooping: is one side of the face drooping? Let him/her smile and see if one side of the face droops.

A– Arm weakness: ask the person to put both arms up. Does he raise both arm? Does one fall downwards?

S– Speech difficulty: blurred speech? Is the person’s speech blurred and not easy to understand? Ask them to repeat “The sky is blue” and see if they are able.

T– Time to call 911: does the person show any of the above symptoms? If yes, it is the time to call 911. Get ready to rush the person to hospital instantly.

Medical Emergency

Stroke is always an emergency. Stroke is different from heart attack. Stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is abruptly cut down. Strokes can be fatal, though at times they lead to temporary or permanent disability.

If a stroke goes for long without getting medical treatment, this increases the chances of brain damage. However, when medical treatment is offered soon after detection of signs and symptoms, the chances of survival and possible healing are high.

Facial drooping, arm weakness and speech difficulty are the most common signs, but aren’t the only signs. Other notable signs include:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of arm, leg or face or body
  • Sudden loss of vision, sudden blurring as well as decreased vision
  • Sudden and severe headache
  • Sudden difficulty in walking and loss of balance
  • Trouble while speaking or understanding

The above mentioned signs can occur alone, or in combination. They last a few seconds or at times for 24 hours after which they disappear. In the case that the signs and symptoms disappear after 24 hours, this is referred to as Transient Ischaemic Attack or mini stroke.

In case you, your loved ones or the person next to you experience any of these signs, dial 000 instantly, regardless of how long the signs last. The faster you call 000 the higher the chances of survival the person gets. If you want to save more of the person, then you have to act F.A.S.T.


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