Medically Reviewed by Christopher G. Cunningham, MD
Surviving a stroke – essentially a heart attack in the brain – requires a fast trip to the Emergency Room and immediate treatment once you arrive. To achieve these two goals, you must be able to spot the signs of a stroke as soon as they appear. McLeod Vascular Surgeon Dr. Christopher Cunningham uses the four-letter word, “F.A.S.T.” to help us remember:
Here are some of Dr. Cunningham’s key points:
- Remember the word F-A-S-T. Each letter is important in recognizing a stroke early enough for your survival and recovery.
- F stands for FACE. If the face is drooping. If an eye is drooping, it may be the sign of blocked blood flow to the brain.
- A stands for ARM. If you arm goes numb and you can’t lift it or move your hand, you could be experiencing a stroke. This is also true if you lose feeling in your leg.
- S stands for SPEECH. If you hear yourself or someone else slurring their speech. Or, if it sounds like you or someone else is speaking gibberish or a foreign language, the brain may be suffering a stroke.
- T stands for TIME. The faster you are diagnosed and treated for stroke, the better your chances of survival and recovery. Don’t delay – every minute counts. Call 911 immediately.
You may also find these articles about stroke helpful:
Cut Your Risk of Stroke
Factors that Raise Your Risk of Stroke
Stop that Stroke By Checking Your Blood pressure at Home
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