What does F.A.S.T. stand for?
1. Facial drooping. One side of a person’s face may droop during a stroke.
Test: Ask the person to smile. Is his/her face sagging? Call 9-1-1.
2. Arm weakness. An individual having a stroke may experience weakness and/or numbness in one or both arms.
Test: Ask the individual to raise both arms. Do you notice a difference in how he/she is raising the arms? Call 9-1-1.
3. Speech difficulties. Slurred speech or difficulty speaking may be signs of a stroke.
Test: Have the person repeat a simple sentence. If he/she can’t, or is having difficulty, call 9-1-1.
4. Time. It’s important to get help as soon as you recognize any signs or symptoms of a stroke. Also, record the time symptoms first appeared so you can tell medical personnel.
Why is time so important in responding to a stroke?
Like all organs, your brain relies on blood flow and oxygen to survive and work well. A stroke blocks the blood flow to the brain. The longer the brain is without blood flow and oxygen, the more likely an individual may suffer disability or death as a result of a stroke.
Important facts about strokes:
• Stroke is the leading cause of disability in adults in the U.S.
• Females are more likely to die from a stroke than males.
• While a stroke is more common in older adults, it can affect younger people, too.
Types of strokes:
2. Hemorrhagic Stroke: Caused by a blood vessel rupturing, which prevents blood flow to the brain.
3. Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): Also called a “mini-stroke,” a TIA is caused by a miniature clot that blocks blood flow to the brain.
How do you know if you’re at risk for a stroke?
• Hereditary factors (risks you get from family members)
• The natural aging process
• An individual’s lifestyle
In many cases, a stroke is the result of a combination of all three.
Where can you learn more?
Remember F.A.S.T. when it comes to stroke responsiveness, and take the time to teach the acronym to your family and friends. Acting F.A.S.T. can mean the difference between life and death.
Live Healthy. Live Smart