Friday, January 13, 2012

Time Is of The Essence

It's important to recognize the signs that a stroke has happened, and/or that a "transient ischaemic attack" (TIA) has taken place. Quick action can save lives and help avoid a great deal of grief.

The FAST test is an easy way to recognize and remember the most common signs of stroke or a TIA. Using the FAST test involves asking three simple questions. If the person has a problem with any of these functions, dial 911 for an ambulance immediately. ACT F.A.S.T.!

FAST stands for:  
  • Facial weakness – can the person smile; have their mouth or eyes drooped on one side? 
  • Arm weakness – can the person raise both arms?  
  • Speech difficulty – can the person speak clearly and understand what you say? 
  • Time to act – act FAST and call 911 immediately. If you suddenly experience any of these symptoms, get to a hospital immediately. 
Remember, stroke is a life-threatening emergency. 

Symptoms of a stroke can include: A numb or weak feeling in the face, arm or leg, trouble speaking or understanding, unexplained dizziness, blurred or poor vision in one or both eyes, loss of balance or an unexplained fall, difficulty swallowing, headache (usually severe or of abrupt onset) or unexplained change in the pattern of headaches, confusion and unconsciousness.

Stroke is often referred to by doctors as a cerebro-vascular accident, but stroke is rarely an ‘accident’. The underlying conditions of a stroke (or cerebro-vascular disease) are usually present for years before a stroke occurs, although the symptoms of a stroke may occur suddenly. Transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs) are an important warning sign that a stroke may occur in the future. There are sometimes quite specific warning signs of an impending stroke. By recognizing the warning signs and taking action, you may be able to prevent a stroke or reduce its severity. It is important to be able to recognize the warning signs in order to get medical help as quickly as possible. Strokes have symptoms which act as warning signs. Transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs) are an important warning sign that a stroke may occur in the future. 

*This info was shared from "The Better Health Channel"

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