Stroke is a Life-Threatening Medical Emergency
F.A.S.T. is a pre-hospital stroke screening tool. Act FAST at these common signs of a stroke:
- FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Is the person confused? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?
- TIME: CALL 9-1-1 if the patient suddenly shows any of these symptoms or they are accompanied by loss of vision or double vision, loss of balance with dizziness, or "the worst headache of his/her life." Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, clumsiness. There may be a sudden loss of strength or sensation in the face, arm or leg, or a combination of the three.
When stroke occurs, caused by the rupture or obstruction (a clot) of a blood vessel of the brain, the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells begin to die within a few minutes.
The FDA approved medication, tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), can dramatically increase the chance of recovery after stroke, but must be administered within 3 hours of symptoms' onset.
If you think you're having a stroke, or you are experiencing stroke symptoms call 9-1-1 and get qualified help.
The multidisciplinary stroke team of doctors and nurses at Regional Medical Center is equipped to acutely treat stroke patients, and to identify stroke symptoms as quickly as possible. Our Emergency Department has implemented an Acute Stroke Protocol to ensure the rapid evaluation and treatment of patients who are potential candidates for this stroke treatment.Read More About Stroke
About 795,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke, according to the American Stroke Association. That means, on average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds. Stroke kills more than 137,000 people a year. That's about 1 of every 18 deaths. It's the No. 4 cause of death. On average, every 4 minutes someone dies of stroke.