How important is it for people to be aware of stroke symptoms and for a person to receive care quickly?

About 610,000 people have a stroke every year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionOff Site Icon. Because stroke is fairly common, especially among people with cardiovascular disease, it is very important for people to know the signs and symptoms.

One of the most important steps in helping someone who is having a stroke – including yourself – is getting the person medical help immediately, according to the National Stroke AssociationOff Site Icon (ASA).

Following the steps of FAST can help you remember the sudden, most common signs of a stroke, according to the ASA. FAST stands for:

F – Face drooping – Look for one side of the face to be droopy or numb. The person’s smile will be uneven.
A – Arm weakness – One arm will feel weak or numb, and if the person tries to lift their arms, one will start to fall down.
S – Speech difficulty – The person could have slurred speech, have a difficult time talking and could have trouble repeating sentences.
T – Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone is showing any of these symptoms, even if they go away, get the person to the hospital right away. Keep track of what time the first symptoms happened.

Knowing stroke symptoms and how to respond can make a huge difference to the person’s recovery process following the stroke, according to the CDC.

Talk to your physician for more information about the importance of knowing stroke symptoms and responding quickly if you think you are having a stroke.

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