To Recognize a Stroke, Think ‘F.A.S.T.’

<b>To Recognize a Stroke, Think ‘F.A.S.T.’</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Fewer than one in five Americans can identify even one stroke symptom. Stroke, or brain attack, is the leading cause of adult disability and the third leading cause of death in America.

Recognizing when stroke is occurring and reacting fast to get treatment can save lives.

“If you understand the warning signs [of stroke] and get to the hospital quickly, it is possible to even possibly reverse the stroke itself,” says Dr. Dawn Kleindorfer, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine.

In a recent poll conducted by National Stroke Association, one-third of men could not recognize even one stroke symptom. That is not good news for men, or the women in their lives, who are uniquely impacted by stroke. National Stroke Association’s “Women in Your Life” campaign is working to change these statistics by educating Americans about stroke prevention and recognizing stroke symptoms.

Research also shows that women take longer than men to get to the hospital after experiencing stroke symptoms, and they wait longer to be treated in the emergency room. Women are also more likely to be the caregiver for a stroke survivor.

Many stroke patients have no idea they are having a stroke because it affects judgment. Learning to recognize a stroke is important and easy – just think “F.A.S.T.”

Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

Arms: Ask the person to hold both arms up evenly. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred or mixed up?

Time: If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

You can help prevent more than half a million strokes this year. To reduce stroke risk, stop smoking; keep blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes under control; and manage atrial fibrillation (a condition in which the heart beats irregularly).

To order a free “Women in Your Life” book, visit the National Stroke Association Web site at or call (800) STROKES (787-6537).

Common stroke symptoms:

* Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

* Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding

* Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

* Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

* Sudden severe headache with no known cause

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