Are you caring for someone who’s at risk for a stroke?
Then you probably already know you often have only a few minutes to get them medical help.
When Ellen looked up from her knitting, she noticed her mother-in-law’s speech was slurred. As a nurse, she knew this was a potentially life-threatening stroke. So she called 9-1-1 immediately.
The paramedics and ambulance came immediately, taking her mother-in-law to the hospital for care.
Ask Ellen how she learned the early warning signs of a stroke, she’ll smile and say, “I learned you want to get help for a stroke FAST.”
The early warning signs of a stroke often occur abruptly, and with only seconds or minutes before the stroke.
Do stroke signs last or come and go?
They can do either one. Some strokes come abruptly and without any warning. And in others the early warning signs of a stroke will come and go, or seem to partially clear.
Either way, time is crucial. Call 911 or your emergency medical response number now to get help. When doctors describe early warning signs of a stroke it’s not like you have hours or days to call for help. You may have seconds or minutes.
So what are the FAST signs of a stroke?
A is for Arm. Ask the person to lift or raise her arms. Does one seem weaker than the other or maybe she can’t raise it at all? Does one arm drift down after being raised? Weakness or paralysis on one side may be one of the early warning signs of a stroke.
S is for Speech. Ask her to repeat a simple phrase. You’re listening to see if the speech is slurred or strange. You may think it’s garbled or confused. If it’s not right, that could be a stroke.
T is for Time. When you think you see any one of these signs it’s time to call 9-1-1 now! Seconds count, so get help now.
The National Stroke Association lists other early warning signs of a stroke on their website. Plus you can download a wallet-sized FAST card to remind you of the signs. Just click here for more information and to get your free FAST card.
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To your healthy caregiving,
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