What are Signs of Stroke? How Can I Help Someone (or Myself) Who May be Having a Stroke?

With stroke, every second counts. The sooner someone having a stroke can get to the hospital for treatment, the better his or her chances are of making a great recovery, according to the American Stroke Association. That’s why it’s important to know signs and symptoms of a stroke so you get help quickly if you think you or someone you’re with is having a stroke.

According to the National Stroke Association (NSA), if you think someone is having a stroke, you should act “FAST” and call 911 immediately.

“FAST” can help you remember the stroke warning signs:

  • Face (F) – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms (A) – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one drift downward?
  • Speech (S) – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • Time (T) – If you see any of these signs, call 911 immediately

In addition to the warning signs, stoke symptoms, according to the NSA, include sudden:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache with no known cause

If you or someone you know has any of these signs or sudden symptoms of stroke – even if they go away – call 911 right away. Paramedics have special training to care for stroke victims and will let the hospital know a patient is on the way to ensure the fastest response possible – and best possible outcome.

Premier Health Offers Certified Advanced Primary Stroke Centers for Better Outcomes.

Two of three of our Premier Health hospitals are certified Advanced Primary Stroke Centers offering advanced care to encourage the best possible outcomes for stroke patients. We recently introduced the Telemedicine Stroke Network at all Premier emergency departments. Patients can be examined via a computer linked to one of six on-call stroke specialists practicing at one of our three hospitals any time of the day or night. This technology dramatically reduces the three-hour window for stroke assessment and action. Neurologists must assess, diagnose and treat a stroke patient within three hours of the beginning signs of a stroke for clot dissolving medication to be effective. The three-hour window is also important to minimize damage to the brain.

Talk with your doctor for more information about what to do if you see signs or symptoms of a stroke.

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