Fast treatment can lessen the brain damage that stroke can cause. By knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke, you can take quick action and perhaps save a life—maybe even your own.
Call 9-1-1 right away if you or someone else has any of these symptoms.
Acting F.A.S.T. can help stroke patients get the treatments they desperately need. The stroke treatments that work best are available only if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within three hours of the first symptoms. Stroke patients may not be eligible for these if they don’t arrive at the hospital in time.
If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do the following simple test:
F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?
T—Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away.
Note the time when any symptoms first appear. This information helps health care providers determine the best treatment for each person. Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room.
If your symptoms go away after a few minutes, you may have had a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Although brief, a TIA is a sign of a serious condition that will not go away without medical help.
Unfortunately, because TIAs clear up, many people ignore them. But paying attention to a TIA can save your life. Tell your health care team about your symptoms right away.
Johnson Memorial Health has been accredited with Stroke Ready Certification by the Healthcare Facility Accreditation Program (HFAP), the nation’s original independent, accreditation organization recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) . Accreditation confirms that Johnson Memorial Health is providing high quality stroke care as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation.