It is World Stroke Day tomorrow (29 October) - a good time to take a moment to make sure you're aware of the signs and symptoms of a stroke so that you can FAST and save lives.
A stroke is a serious medical condition that happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.
In the minutes after someone has a stroke, they start to lose crucial brain tissue that contains memories, language and personality. If the symptoms aren't spotted and acted upon quickly, it can be life-threatening.
Knowing the symptoms and acting FAST can save that person’s life and all the things that make them unique.
Remember the main symptoms of stroke using the word FAST:
- Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have drooped.
- Arms – the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.
- Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you're saying to them.
- Time – it's time to dial 999 immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.
Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential. The sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.
Know the signs, and help others learn them too. Find out more about stroke, including causes and prevention, on the NHS website.