Posted on Feb 24, 2016
Article adapted from: http://strokeassociation.org/
Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so it and brain cells die.
If you are a senior or work with seniors, it is important to know the physical signs of a stroke in case you are someone you work with is experiencing one.
An easy way to remember the sudden signs of a stroke, is the acronym F. A. S. T., developed by the American Stroke Association.
F: Face Drooping - Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
A: Arm Weakness - Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S: Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
T: Time to call 9-1-1 - If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.
F.A.S.T. details the primary and immediate signs of a stroke but there are other symptoms to be aware of. The other sudden symptoms are:
If a stroke should occur in yourself or a loved one, be sure to watch out for increased susceptibility to falls. Falls after a stroke are common and can result in hospitalization and a long recovery, depending on the severity of the injury. Caregivers can assist with making sure a fall after a stroke does not happen!
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