If you notice any signs or symptoms of a stroke—even if they seem to come and go or they disappear entirely—think “F.A.S.T” and do the following:
– 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? Or is one arm unable to rise?
– Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his or her speech slurred or strange?
– Time. If you observe any of these signs, call 911 or emergency medical help immediately.
A stroke is always a medical emergency, and if you or someone you are with are experiencing symptoms, you must seek stroke treatment immediately. Call 911 right away. Don’t wait to see if symptoms stop. Every minute counts, and the longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage, ongoing impairment, or death. If symptoms do stop, seek emergency stroke treatment immediately, as a retreat of symptoms does not mean a stroke has not occurred and you may still be at risk of long-term damage.
If you’re with someone you suspect is having a stroke, observe the person carefully while waiting for emergency assistance. Document all symptoms, times, and anything else that might be helpful to Valley View’s stroke team in identification, diagnosis, and stabilization of stroke symptoms.
Remember: TIME IS BRAIN