May is National Stroke Awareness Month
May 1, 2013
A stroke happens when a blood clot blocks an artery or when a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happens, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. It's critical that a stroke be treated as an emergency.
Recognizing stroke symptoms is easier if you remember to think F.A.S.T.
F-Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A-Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S-Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is speech slurred or strange?
T-Time: If any of these signs are observed, it's time to call 9-1-1
A stroke can happen at any age. Symptoms include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg - especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; sudden severe headache with no known cause.
If you have any of these symptoms, dial 9-1-1 so treatment can begin immediately.