October 21, 2018

For Strokes, Think FAST

by Berkeley Wellness  

To help increase awareness of strokes and emphasize the importance of early response, the American Stroke Association (a division of the American Heart Association) is promoting the acronym F.A.S.T.:

F -- Face drooping: One side of the face may be drooping compared to the other or numb. If the person tries to smile, the smile will likely be uneven.

A -- Arm weakness: This is likely to occur on one side of the body. If the person lifts both arms, one may tend to drift downward. That arm may also be numb.

S -- Speech difficulty: A stroke can slur a person’s speech, making it difficult for the person to speak or to be understood. If you’re unsure, ask the person to repeat a short simple sentence. A stroke can make it hard for the person to repeat it correctly.

T -- Time to call 911: If any of these symptoms occur, even if they go away, call 911 and get immediate help. Doing so can save the person’s life.

Another helpful acronym is S.T.R. (as in stroke), which stands for three simple tests you can give to someone who you think is having a stroke: ask her to Smile, Talk (speak a sentence), and Raise both arms. If she has trouble with any of these, call for help, but keep in mind that many people having a stroke may pass this test.