When someone has a stroke, the clock starts ticking. If medication is given within the first three hours, it may help reduce the damage caused by the stroke. After three hours it is too late. This is why it’s so important to be able to recognize a stroke.
Signs of a Stroke include the sudden onset of the following symptoms:
- Numbness, weakness or paralysis, especially on one side of the body
- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
- Difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
- Severe headache with no known cause
If you or someone close to you shows signs of a stroke, don’t delay. Call 911 immediately. Acting quickly could help prevent lifelong impairment or death.
If you suspect someone has had a stroke, you can perform the “FAST” test as described by the CDC:
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 the speech slurred or strange?
T—Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away.