To Spot Stroke Signs,Think FAST
Posted on May 2, 2013 in Stroke
Do you know how to spot the signs of a stroke?
Using the FAST acronym is an easy way to recognize a stroke and know what to do if you see someone exhibiting the signs, according to Jenny Fung, R.N., the coordinator of Mills-Peninsula’s Stroke Program.
Face: Look for an uneven smile
Arm: Check if one arm is weak
Speech: Listen for slurred speech
Time: Call 9-1-1 immediately if there is any one of these symptoms
“Look for sudden changes — a facial droop, arm weakness, change in speech,” Fung says. “If you see any one of these stroke signs, call 911 – don’t try to drive the person to the ER yourself. Time is brain. Every minute counts.”
A stroke is a brain attack in which blood and oxygen are cut off to a part of your brain. It can strike anyone, at any age. If you smoke, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes you may be at an elevated risk for stroke.
“Getting treatment as fast as possible is key to decreasing disability from a stroke,” Fung says.
Nearly 800,000 Americans have a new or recurrent stroke every year. Of these, 130,000 die as a result of stroke.
San Mateo County has a system in place to respond to strokes. Emergency first responders alert the closest Certified Stroke Center that a stroke patient is on the way, ensuring the hospital’s stroke team is ready when the patient arrives.
Mills-Peninsula is a Certified Stroke Center, as designated by The Joint Commission for meeting national standards for stroke care and outcomes. For the past two years, Mills-Peninsula also has received the Stroke Gold Plus recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
The FAST stroke information also is available in a free mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Search for “stroke FAST app.”