Recognizing a Stroke FAST
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking four simple questions:
F FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
If he or she has trouble with any one of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. Researchers are urging the general public to learn to ask these three questions quickly, to someone they suspect of having a stroke. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of a stroke, and prevent permanent brain damage.