Stroke: Signs and Symptoms
The expression “time is brain” reflects a devastating reality:
an estimated 1.9 million brain cells are lost during a stroke. Stroke
can lead to paralysis, loss of speech, memory, vision, diminished reasoning—and
sometimes death. It is critical that a stroke victim receive evaluation
and proper treatment quickly to minimize the injury to the brain tissue.
Most Americans can’t name the warning signs of stroke, yet knowing
when to seek immediate care can make all the difference. Use FAST to remember
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?
SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred
TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
Other less common symptoms of stroke may include sudden nausea or vomiting,
fainting, confusion, seizures or coma. Stroke patients show different
symptoms depending on the type of stroke (Ischemic stroke, Hemorrhagic
stroke), where exactly the stroke occurs in their brain and how acute
the injury. While some stroke symptoms happen suddenly and simultaneously,
some can occur over hours or several small strokes can happen over time.
These “mini-strokes” – called Transient Ischemic Attack
(TIA) – happen when, for a short time, less blood than normal gets
to the brain. A TIA lasts from a few minutes up to a day – and you
may or may not notice mild signs of stroke. TIAs can be a warning sign
of a more severe stroke to come, so seek immediate medical care.
If you suspect you or someone with you is experiencing a stroke, call 911