In a moment of confusion, panic, and fear, it can be hard to assess what is happening during a medical emergency. A stroke is one of those emergencies that need immediate attention, so it’s important to recognize the signs.
To help remember the key signs of a stroke, the acronym FAST is used to help assess a person’s risk. Let’s break down each of the letters below.
F – Facial Drooping
One of the first signs of a stroke is facial drooping. This is when one side of a person’s face looks uneven, tilted or “drooped” compared to the other side.
One way you can tell is by checking their smile. Is it lopsided? Is their mouth drooping? These are obvious signs that require immediate medical attention.
A – Arm Weakness
It may be hard to tell if someone has arm weakness in one arm if they’re sitting casually.
If you’re recognizing the signs of the stroke, ask the person to raise both of their arms at the same time. If it looks like one arm is falling down involuntarily or appears weak, this could be a sign that a stroke is happening.
If you notice the person’s speech is starting to sound garbled or muffled, this could be an additional warning sign of a stroke.
Perhaps ask the person to repeat an easy, concise sentence and see if their speech sounds noticeably different.
If they aren’t speaking as their normal selves, listen to your gut! Take immediate action.
T—Time to call for help/emergency services
After seeing the above signs of a stroke, this last step is crucial—seek help. If these signs are apparent, take immediate action and call for emergency medical services.
By being proactive, you could potentially save a person’s life and put them in the care they need to recover. Being able to