Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

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When someone is having a stroke, every minute counts.

Just as putting out a fire quickly can stop it from spreading, treating a stroke quickly

can reduce damage to the brain.

If you learn how to recognize the telltale signs of a stroke, you can act quickly and

save a life—maybe even your own.

For both men and women, look for these five signs of a stroke, all of which come on suddenly.

One: Numbness or weakness … in the face, arm, or leg, especially when felt on just

one side of the body.

Two: Confusion … including trouble speaking or understanding speech.

Three: Trouble seeing … from one or both eyes.

Four: Trouble walking … or problems with balance or dizziness.

Five: Headache … especially a severe one that comes on suddenly.

The clock begins ticking as soon as you spot the signs of a stroke, because some treatments

can only be used if the patient reaches the hospital in the first three hours after symptoms appear.

So don’t wait. Call 9-1-1, and get the person to a hospital immediately,

even if the symptoms go away.

If you think someone is having a stroke, remember the word “FAST.”

F is for Face: Ask the person to smile, and check whether one side of their face is drooping.

A is for Arms: Have the person raise both arms, and see if one arm drifts downwards.

S is for Speech: Ask the person to repeat a short phrase,

and notice if their words sound slurred.

And finally, T is for Time: If you spot any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away to get

the person to a hospital FAST.

Strokes are medical emergencies. The sooner a patient gets treatment, the better their

chance of a good recovery.