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Morningstar Living - Strokes: Think F.A.S.T.

Strokes: Think F.A.S.T.


What’s a stroke, how can you recognize one … and how should you react?

Simply put, a stroke is a blockage of blood flow to the brain. Caused by a blood clot anywhere in the body or by a ruptured artery in the brain, strokes can cause disability or even death if the blood flow is not restored. So, what are the signs of a stroke?

“The primary sign is a sudden change in how the body is working,” says, Donna L. Henshue, RN, for Morningstar Senior Living’s Life Care Community, Moravian Hall Square in Nazareth, PA. “This usually includes numbness of the face, arm or leg – most often on one side of the body. There also may be difficulty speaking, blurred vision, or a sudden severe headache, dizziness, or confusion.”

If you suspect a loved one, friend or neighbor is having a stroke, it’s important for you to think F.A.S.T.:

  • Face: Ask the person to smile. If there’s drooping or weakness on one side of the face, that’s the sign of a stroke.
  • Arm: Ask the person to raise both arms. If there’s weakness or numbness in one but not the other, that’s the sign of a stroke.
  • Speech: Ask the person to say a simple sentence. If there’s slurred or distorted speech, that’s the sign of a stroke.
  • Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately. Also, note the time at which any of these symptoms started

Remember: Time loss is brain loss with strokes. So think F.A.S.T. and help someone get the immediate medical attention they need!