Acronym Helps Recognize Stroke – FAST : There is an acronym, that is helpful for recognizing symptoms of a stroke, to help get immediate help, and minimize long term effects, that can be devastating.
I was with a friend, quite a few years ago, when she had a stroke. She refused to let me call an ambulance, but I insisted on taking her to the ER. By getting her there quickly, they were able to give her a clot buster, and her stroke symptoms were minimal. With therapy, she got even better. Act FAST, ya hear ? ? ? ;-}
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The lasting effects of a stroke may include paralysis, poor memory and loss of speech. Just knowing the meaning of FAST may get you to the hospital quicker to prevent prolonged damage. Here’s how FAST works:
Face: This tells you that if a person’s face is drooping around the eye or mouth that could be sign of a stroke. Ask them to smile – a stroke generally affects one side of the body.
Arm: This means you should check for arm weakness. One symptom is the inability to raise both arms evenly.
Speech: Check for speech impairment, such as slurred speech or difficulty repeating simple phrases (The sky is blue).
Tongue: Ask them to stick out their tongue straight. If it goes to one side or the other seek medical attention immediately.
The acronym reminds you that if you do suspect a stroke, use the FAST method and seek medical attention. Recognizing a stroke in a timely manner could allow clot-busting medications to be administered and other treatments to begin. Generally, treatment within a minimum of three hours, is enough to administer life-saving medicine.
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