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STROKE: Know the Signs - Act FAST

STROKE: Know the Signs - Act FAST

Written by Dan-Victor Giurgiutiu, MD, Interventional Neurologist

Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States, and the number one cause of serious long-term disability. It’s important that people in our community know the signs and symptoms of stroke – so they can Act F.A.S.T. to limit its impact.

F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • FACE drooping
  • ARM weakness
  • SPEECH difficulty
  • TIME to call 911

It’s easy to remember, and easy to put into practice. You can quickly check someone for stroke symptoms using the FAST method:

  • Face - Ask the person to smile and see if their face looks uneven, with one side drooping.
  • Arms - Ask the person to raise both arms and see if one arm is weak or drifts downward.
  • Speech - Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase and listen for slurred or strange speech.
  • Time - Time is the single most important part of FAST. If you witness a friend or loved one exhibiting any of these symptoms, you should call 911 immediately. By acting FAST, you can play a major role in minimizing the impact of a stroke.

It’s critical that you don’t hesitate. Because in the case of stroke, every minute counts — and “time lost is brain lost.” The faster a patient gets transported to the emergency room following the onset of stroke symptoms, the better their chances for survival and a positive long-term outcome. When a patient arrives at the hospital quickly after the onset of stroke symptoms there are several effective treatment options we can use that may not be possible if people wait to call 911 and treatment is delayed. Quick response and rapid treatment are key factors in limiting long-term disability from stroke.

Please share these important facts with your loved ones. If we all Act F.A.S.T. we can minimize the impact of strokes in our community and live healthier, together.