Use the letters in “fast” to spot stroke signs and know when to call 9-1-1.
- Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven or lopsided?
- Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the person able to correctly repeat the words?
- If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and say, “I think this is a stroke” to help get the person to the hospital immediately. Time is important! Don’t delay, and also note the time when the first symptoms appeared. Emergency responders will want to know.
If you’re having a stroke, it’s critical that you get medical attention right away. Immediate treatment may minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death. Thanks to recent medical advances, stroke treatments and survival rates have improved greatly over the last decade.