A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that brings oxygen and nutrients to the brain becomes clogged or bursts, stopping blood supply to a portion of the brain. When blood cannot reach an area of the brain, abilities and functions controlled by that part of the brain may become impaired or lost.
If not treated immediately, a stroke can lead to brain damage and disability. Even though the common symptoms of a stroke may not be painful and are easy to ignore, it is critical to recognize the warning signs.
Do you know the signs of a stroke?
During a stroke, quick treatment is important! Recognizing the warning signs and symptoms is critical because, during a stroke, "time is brain."
If you experience any or all of the following symptoms, call 911 immediately:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
A helpful trick to identify the symptoms of stroke is to learn to act F.A.S.T.:
F - FACE
Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A - ARM
Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S - SPEECH
Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
T - TIME
If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.