Recognizing Signs of Stroke

Recognizing Signs of Stroke

Q: My parents are in fairly good health, but have a family history of stroke. Are there signs or symptoms I should be watching for?

A: Most people don't think about their own risk for Stroke, but Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. According to the National Stroke Association, stroke kills 133,000 Americans each year and is the leading cause of long-term disability in adults. It is also believed that 80% of strokes are preventable. While many think that stroke only happens to older adults, stroke can happen to anyone at anytime, regardless of race, sex or age. Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death. That is why recognizing the signs of stroke and calling 911 immediately is so important.

Recognizing the warning signs of stroke:
• Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg. Especially one side of the body.
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
• Sudden severe headache with no known cause

What can you do? Act FAST!
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 droop downward?
S=SPEECH Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
T=TIME If you observe any of these signs (just one or all of the symptoms) call 9-1-1 immediately.

Acting fast could save your life or the life of a loved one.

Critical Care Nurse Specialist