Health Bulletin: Signs of Stroke

You can help save a life

by recognizing the earliest signs and symptoms of having a stroke. The National Stroke Association has developed the acronym FAST which is used to help someone detect a stroke. 

  • F: Face - Have the person smile. Does one side of the person's mouth droop?
  • A: Arms - Have the person raise both arms up in the air. Can the person do that? Does one arm drift downwards on its own?
  • S: Speech - Have the person say and repeat a simple phrase. Are they having difficulty speaking? Do they sound weird?
  • T: Time - Time is essential if the person is having a stroke. In order to have the best chance at a full recovery, any person exhibiting any or all of these symptoms needs to get to the hospital immediately! 

The National Stroke Association also published a somewhat expanded list of additional symptoms that you should also be aware of.

  • SUDDEN Numbness or Weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on just one side of the body
  • SUDDEN Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding others speaking
  • SUDDEN trouble Seeing with one or both eyes
  • SUDDEN trouble Walking, or Dizziness or lack of coordination
  • SUDDEN Severe Headache with no known cause

By knowing this information, you could wind up saving not only someone else's life but your own. I saw this TED Talk not too long ago, and this woman's story really inspired me. I'll let you watch and learn for yourself though from the woman that describes the sensation of having her own stroke and living to tell the tale. 

Yours in health,

Dr. William