When someone has a stroke, acting quickly is paramount, which means knowing the signs. If you consider that a person has a stroke every 40 seconds in the United States, we’re talking about big numbers, and there can come a time when this event hits close to home.
To help you recognize a stroke — either in yourself or in a loved one — our team here at Complete Neurological Care pulled together the following important information. As neurological experts, we specialize in stroke care, and we understand, better than most, why quick action can make all the difference.
In most cases, when a person has a stroke, a blood clot has cut off the flow of blood to their brain. Symptoms can develop very quickly once oxygen is unable to get through.
To help people recognize strokes, the American Stroke Association came up with acronym FAST, which stands for:
- Face drooping or twisting
- Arm weakness
- Speech difficulty
- Time to call 911
The first three items on this list identify the primary symptoms of a stroke, and the last is your call to action.
The face drooping or twisting often occurs on just one side, as does the arm numbness and/or weakness. While the weakness mostly develops in the arm, it can travel down to one leg, as well, causing you (or a loved one) to stumble.
The difficulty with speech entails both understanding and speaking — your speech can slur or you have trouble coming up with the words and you also struggle to understand what’s being said to you.
For a more interactive look at these symptoms, including visuals of face drooping, click here.
Other possible symptoms of stroke
Outside of the symptoms outlined in FAST, there can be others, such as:
- Trouble with vision in one or both eyes
- Dizziness/loss of balance and/or coordination
- Sudden and severe headache
Both men and women experience the same symptoms, so there are no gender differences.
Why acting quickly during a stroke matters
We’re going to start this discussion with one important statistic — patients who get care within three hours of a stroke have less disability three months down the road than those whose care was delayed.
By calling 911 and getting to hospital quickly, you or your loved one can have the blood flow to your brain restored more quickly so there’s less permanent brain damage.
After your stroke
Once you receive immediate care for your stroke, we can take over with long-term recovery. Our specialists understand the challenges that come with strokes. We meet you wherever you are and get started on restoring your ability to plug back into the world.
If you have more questions about recognizing strokes or about all-important follow-up stroke care, please contact one of our offices in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, or Margate, Florida, to schedule a consultation.