What are the signs of stroke?
When someone has a stroke, there are a number of symptoms that may occur. The sooner a stroke is recognized, the sooner the person can get critical medical attention, so knowing and being able to recognize these symptoms could be life-saving.
Stroke symptoms tend to come on suddenly. They include weakness or numbness on one side of the body, one-sided facial drooping, difficulty speaking or understanding others, confusion, loss of coordination and balance, difficulty walking or seeing, and severe headache. Not all patients experience all of these symptoms, but a sudden onset of any of these merits a call to emergency medical services and a trip to the hospital for evaluation.
Many organizations suggest that you use the “FAST” acronym to help you recognize the signs of a stroke:
F: Facial droop
- Ask the person to smile- does only one side of the face respond?
- Ask the person to lift their arms – do they seem to have difficulty lifting them both to the same level and keeping them there?
- Ask the person to repeat some words or tell you where they are – is their speech slurred or odd?
- Call 911 if you notice any of these signs of stroke.