Prompt treatment for a stroke is key to preventing death and brain damage. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is blocked or a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and causes brain cells to die. The cells of a brain do not re-grow and in a stroke, two million brain cells are lost every minute.
Warning Signs and Symptoms
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on 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
That's why it's so important to learn the signs and symptoms of stroke, and to learn to act F.A.S.T. to identify symptoms of a stroke:
Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?
Time: If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 911 or get to the hospital fast. Every second counts because brain cells could be dying.
Not every warning sign will occur in every stroke. And even if they do go away, these warning signs should not be ignored. Call 911 or your local emergency medical service number so an ambulance can quickly take the person to Nacogdoches Medical Center for stroke care. When talking to 911, an emergency medical service or the hospital, be sure to use the word “stroke” in order to possibly speed up a diagnosis. Every minute counts when treating a stroke, raising the number of brain cells that can be saved and chances for recovery.