A stroke occurs when blood flow to an area in the brain is cut off. The brain cells begin to die as they are deprived of the oxygen and nutrients needed to function. If a stroke is not caught early, permanent brain damage or death can result.
A stroke is a medical emergency and prompt treatment is crucial. Early action can minimize brain damage and potential complications.
Watch for these signs and symptoms if you think you or someone else may be having a stroke.
- Weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body
- Loss of vision, blurring, or double vision
- Loss of speech, slurring words, or difficulty understanding speech
- Sudden, severe headache, often with vomiting, or dizziness
- Loss of balance, unstable walking, or loss of coordination
Think "FAST" and check the following if you suspect that you or someone you know is having a stroke:
- Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Or is one arm unable to raise up?
- Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his or her speech slurred or strange?
- Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately