When an individual experiences a stroke, every second counts. Treatments are time sensitive. Assessment and determination of the appropriate stroke treatment can take place at a stroke center. The sooner this occurs, the better, since there is a finite window of time following the stroke in which an individual is eligible for acute stroke treatment.
This is why it is so important to recognize stroke symptoms and call 9-1-1 as soon as possible.
Know the signs of a stroke and act FASTER when you see them:
F stands for face. Ask the person to smile. If you see one side of the face drooping, the person could be experiencing a stroke.
A stands for arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. If you see one arm drifting downward or the person complains that one arm is weaker or more numb than the other, this could be a sign of a stroke.
S stands for stability. This refers to steadiness on your feet. Sometimes an individual experiencing a stroke will fall, feel off balance or be unable to stand without assistance.
T stands for talking difficulty. Ask the person to repeat simple phrase such as, "The sky is blue." If they slur, are unable to speak or they do not seem to understand the words you've spoken to them, they could be experiencing a stroke.
E stands for eyes. Is there a sudden onset of double vision or vision loss in one or both eyes?
R stands for REACT. Call 9-1-1. If a person is experiencing one or more of any of the symptoms that were just described.. even if the symptoms go away - it is important to call 911 immediately.
Many of the possible treatments of stroke are time sensitive which is why seeking medical attention at the first sign is important.
Remember to think and act FASTER. You might just save someone's life.
In addition to recognizing stroke symptoms and seeking care quickly, it is important to manage individual risk factors to prevent a stroke. This includes managing blood pressure, stopping smoking, lowering cholesterol, eating healthier, reducing blood sugar and increasing physical activity to maintain a healthy weight.