Strokes And Young People: Don’t Ignore The Signs

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The acronym F-A-S-T, designed by the American Heart Association, allows you to detect the early warning signs of stroke and act quickly.

  • F is for Face Drooping. If you or the other person is having difficulty smiling or their smile suddenly seems crooked, this could be a sign of stroke.
  • A is for Arm Weakness. The arms may suddenly feel week or numb. Test by asking them to raise both their arms. If one arm droops lower, this can be a symptom.
  • S means Speech Difficulty. Sudden slurring of words and incoherent speaking is a tell-tale sign of stroke. Trouble understanding speech could also be a symptom.
  • T means Time to Call 911. Don’t waste any time, call your country’s emergency number immediately. Be sure to make note of the time it was when you first noticed the symptoms.

Other symptoms include sudden severe headache, trouble seeing in one or both eyes, dizziness or lack of coordination, and numbness in the face, hands, legs, or arms, particularly if it occurs only on one side of the body. The “T” applies to these as well. Get help immediately.

It is imperative to get treatment as soon as possible after symptoms are recognized. Experts call the first three hours following a stroke the “Golden Window”, since a stroke victim who is brought to a hospital and receives treatment within that window is much more likely to make a full recovery. If treatment is not given promptly, the result could be death or permanent brain damage, which no amount of rehabilitation can fix.

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