One of the most unnerving incidents you can witness is someone going through a stroke. Strokes impact people in many different ways, and while a serious one can be easy to spot, sometimes a smaller stroke can be harder to understand. This can lead to an issue where you don’t know if it’s a stroke or something else, meaning you may wait to call 911 for an ambulance. Unfortunately, every delay can lead to consequences including, long-term memory loss, paralysis, speech problems, changes in behavior, or death. So the reason many people say witnessing a stroke is so scary, is that it can take time to realize someone is having a stroke, and that lost time could have had a significant impact on the sufferer.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to tell if someone is having a stroke. Simply remember to Act FAST:
Face – Is part of the face drooping? Ask the person to smile – see if it is crooked or uneven.
Arms – Is there a weakness in one arm? Ask the person to raise both arms over his or her head – can both go up?
Speech – Is the speech jumbled or slurred? Ask the person to speak a simple sentence repeatedly – do you hear a noticeable difference is how the person is speaking compared to normal? Is it even intelligible?
Time – If any of these symptoms are present, you need to immediately call 911. Time is critical for the survival and recovery of a patient from a stroke. Also, not the time when symptoms first started.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list of stroke symptoms, but for a quick reference it is easy to remember and can save a life. So if you ever think you are witnessing a stroke, just remember to Act FAST.