Act FAST with Stroke Symptoms can Save Lives

Act FAST with Stroke Symptoms can Save Lives

Act FAST with Stroke Symptoms can Save Lives

Today, I will be touching on a heavy topic and yet this could concern you and I and people around us. According to the National Stroke Association, Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and is the leading cause of adult disability in America. Fortunately, according to them, “up to 80% of strokes are preventable.” Thus we have the POWER in us to prevent Stroke.

What is Stroke?

According to MayoClinic.com, “A Stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within a few minutes, brain cells begin to die.” And according to the fact sheet by National Stroke Association, “Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death. Recognizing symptoms and acting fast to get medical attention can save a life and limit disabilities.

In so speaking, acting timely is important and it can very well be the deciding factor on whether the person suffering from a stroke attack can recover completely. Therapy with clot-busting drugs must start within three hours. Quick treatment not only improves a person’s chances of survival, but may also reduce the amount of complications resulting from the stroke attack. The challenge is recognizing stroke symptoms as many are not aware of them.

How do we recognize the Stroke Symptoms?

The symptoms of Stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg; especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
  • In addition to these stroke symptoms, there is also an easy test to further determine if a person has suffered from a stroke attack or are having the symptoms of Stroke. I received an email from a friend on this simple test and decided to Google for some information to check its validity. True enough, I found a few sources providing the same information.

    From the National Stroke Association and from Better Health Channel, they provided this simple test call ‘F.A.S.T.’

    This simple test will help you detect stroke symptoms and act F.A.S.T.

    F: Facial weakness, can the person smile; have their mouth or eyes drooped?
    A: Arm weakness, can the person raise both arms? Does one arm drift downward?
    S: Speech difficulty, can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
    T: Time to act, act FAST and call for ambulance or paramedics immediately

    According to the email, it mentioned that there is one more way to know if a person has suffered a stroke – ask the person to stick out his/her tongue (I have not been able to verify this point). If the tongue is not straight or droops or slants to one side rather than coming straight out of his/her mouth, it is an indication of a Stroke.

    If the person has difficulty in performing any one of these tasks, it is likely that he/she has suffered a stroke attack and medical help should be IMMEDIATELY called for.

    Prevention of Stroke

    As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.” Fortunately, we do have the POWER in us to prevent stroke. Let us take a look at some of the factors which may help in preventing a stroke attack:

  • Control high blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Lower your cholesterol and saturated fat intake.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Control diabetes.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Manage stress.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all
  • For detailed information on prevention, you can go to the following websites: MayoClinic.com and National Stroke Association.

    Remember, if we can act F.A.S.T with a person who has just suffered from a stroke attack by identifying the stroke symptoms, we not only save the person’s life but also improve the person’s chances of a complete recovery. Please share this F.A.S.T. It may just save someone today.

    Health Promotion Board of Singapore


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    Photo credit: Darko Stojanovic

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    bk

    Founder of Symphony of Love and find his meaning in life in inspiring love, peace and happiness.
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    36 thoughts on “Act FAST with Stroke Symptoms can Save Lives

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Cherry, sorry to hear about your friend. You are definitely right that we should be taking care of ourselves better; no one else is responsible for our healths except us.

    2. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Fitness Diva, I didn’t know either. I certainly agree with you that recovery from Stroke can be a difficult thing; it require not only the support from the family but also a lot on the will of the patient. With this simple F.A.S.T test, I certainly hope that everyone who gets a chance to read this would be able to use it when the time comes for them to help someone.

    3. Sandi

      I thought I’d add a couple of things because my dad suffered a massive stroke in 2004. He was only 51 at the time. That morning he awoke and was projectile vomiting. Previously he had experienced occasionally blurring of his vision but it went away. He went to work anyway that morning, regardless of being ill and at work his arm dropped to the side. He was confused and didn’t understand why he couldn’t lift his arm then he collapsed. Because he was at work he got immediate medical attention and was treated. Now, 4 years later he only has minor speech trouble. He recovered because of the prompt medical attention!!! I think it’s so very important. Thanks for your blog post!!

      Sandis last blog post..How I Deal With Not Feeling the Same

    4. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Sandi, first of all, I am glad that your dad is well now. Truly time is very critical for anyone suffering from a Stroke.

      It seemed that your dad could be showing signs of what is called “Temporary strokes” (transient ischemic attacks or TIAs) with the occasionally blurring of his vision previously.

      According to healthscout.com, “These can occur days, weeks or even months before a major stroke. TIAs result when a blood clot temporarily clogs an artery and part of the brain does not get the supply of blood it needs. The symptoms occur rapidly and last a relatively short period of time, usually from a few minutes to several hours. The usual symptoms are like those of a full-fledged stroke, except that the symptoms of a TIA are temporary, lasting 24 hours or less. In fact, people who have had TIAs are 9.5 times more likely to have a stroke than people of the same age and sex who have not had a TIA.”

    5. Tammy Warren

      Hey you! This is a great post. As we get older we all need to be aware of these symptoms. Stress is everywhere and we might not be all as “well and fit” as we hope. I was just in the mall yesterday and a older lady appeared to be having one. There was a nurse nearby who immediately jumped in to help.

      Great Great thing to share!

      Tammy Warrens last blog post..A good belly laugh

    6. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Tammy, you are certainly right, as we get older, we might not be as “well and fit” as we hope. Thus there is no better time to start taking care of our health when we can be in some controls. I am glad that there was a nurse nearby when the older lady seemed to be having one. Time is critical for anyone suffering from a Stroke, not only in surviving it but also improving in chance of a complete recovery from it.

    7. A.

      Both my parents suffered strokes, and both died later indirectly as a result. As you say, prevention is better than cure, but swift action in the event, is imperative.

      A.s last blog post..Changeable

    8. Chronic Chick Talk

      Thanks for sharing this information. So many people do not know the signs of a stroke. A few years ago I had a stroke and being young did not understand the symptoms. It was a small stroke, but it has affected my speech, language, and eye sight in one side of my left eye. Even when you are young you can have a stroke.

      chronic chick

      Chronic Chick Talks last blog post..Top Entrecard Droppers for October 2008

    9. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Chronic, I agree with you that not many people understand or know the signs of a stroke until it hits them or it hits someone they know. I hope that more people will be aware of the symptoms and be more prepared. I think more importantly is to prevent one by having a healthy lifestyle and living habits.

    10. chethan

      Yea any contribution from your end will do great all i can say is thanks for sponsoring my contest i shall post the details soon πŸ™‚ It will be great to have you as a sponsor .. I will make sure my sponsors get some traffic from my contest and of course some more publicity πŸ™‚ Good luck! Have a good day πŸ™‚

      chethans last blog post..Looking for sponsors for a contest

    11. Natural

      I learned FAST in my CRP class. In a matter of minutes, so many things can happen to the brain if w/o oxygen. Going over those steps made me really nervous and I didn’t want the responsibility..but if you are feeling those symptoms of a heart attack, it’s best to take care of it right away. women are more likely to ignore those signs than men.

      Naturals last blog post..Finger Clicking GoodÒ€ℒgaud That Hurts!

    12. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Natural, when I was Googling for information on the email I received, I did read something that said that CPR may need to be administrated depending on the condition of the Stroke patient and the person is to be laid down chin up so that the airway is not blocked. Indeed, it is a big responsibility that not everyone is ready to handle when it occurs.

    13. durano lawayan

      Hi bk,

      I had a friend who died from a stroke last September. He was a health buff, ate well, slept at 11:00, did exercises in the morning, and jogged for 45 minutes daily. He had a nice physique and his weight was always right for his height.He didn’t smoke and only on occasion drank couple of beers and wine. He was 53, had a nice family, good job, two wonderful kids. That morning he did his usual jogging, rested a bit, did push-ups, then took a shower. On coming out, he had a massive stroke and died on the way to the hospital.

      It’s hard to explain but the warnings signs were never there. His family was clueless too.

      The post is certainly very informative and I don’t doubt its value. But I guess no matter how much we take all precautions, if it’s time to go there’s no stopping it. It is always better to be on the safe side, I agree, and to be aware of the signs – but there are some things just difficult to explain.

      Thanks for this post, it’s a quick and easy way to remember with facts I didn’t know till now. And thanks for the congratulatory message on my site too. πŸ™‚ –Durano, done!

      durano lawayans last blog post..NOTICE:

    14. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Durano, thanks for the insightful comment. Indeed, there are many cases of healthy and young people who just passed away without any indications or signs before that. Sad to say that this is something which no one has or can control. Are we then to live our lives otherwise since we cannot control such things and no one knows if such a thing may happen to himself or herself? Instead of worrying if such a thing will happen to us, we need to live a healthy and fufilling life and most importantly to always live life to the fullest. πŸ™‚

    15. Jade

      Hi BK
      This is a very informative article. It would be of great use to alot of people.

      Btw,thanks for sponsoring an ebook at Yen’s contest. She already gave me the link but have nit found the time yet to look into it due to many event going on in my life. I will look into it more when I return frm the PH.

      Jades last blog post..Raising Cacai’s Fund

    16. jakill

      This is an excellent post, really useful. I always enjoy reading your blog. You really deserve that award.

      Hope you don’t mind but I’ve tagged you. Check it out on my blog when you have a mo.

      jakills last blog post..Tagged – Who Me?

    17. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Jakill, thank you for always dropping by my blog and enjoying your stay here. It is truly my honor to have an experience writer like yourself to say that you have always enjoy reading my blog. This is more than I can ask for. I will continue to improve on this blog and hope that you will continue to find reading it a pleasure. Have a great weekend.

    18. Janet Gardner

      Hi,
      My mother died after months of suffering from a double stroke,thanks for sharing this information you may have helped so many others. I have posted an award for you on my blog,
      Take Care,
      Janet:)

      Janet Gardners last blog post..CommentLuv needs updating on this site. Please download the latest version and install it on your site. This message will apear during the first 10 minutes of each hour. This remote script will cease returning posts in 7 days

    19. Signs of a stroke

      There’s been a lot of news coverage about stroke round my way over the last fwe months – can only be a good thing that more people become aware of it’s dangers and more importantly of how to recognize if someone is having a stroke.

    20. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Signs, it is important that people know the signs and symptoms of a stroke so that they can identify if someone is having a stroke; it can increase the person’s chance of survival and a complete recovery.

    21. Health Coverage

      My father had a stroke last year. Weeks before his stroke he complained about dizziness and fatigue. You have done a great job at highlighting many of the signs and symptoms family members should look for to determine if their loved one may is at risk of a stroke.

    22. Fashion Forward

      This is very informative. I never knew about the F.A.S.T. test, although I did know that those are indicators of a stroke.

      My Mom has had strokes, and it’s a difficult thing to recover from.

      1. Symphony of Love Post author

        @ Fashion Forward, hope that you Mom has recovered fully from the stroke. Fast detection of stroke is important. It not only improves the person’s chance of survival but also improves the person’s chance of a full recovery.