Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and other nutrients to the brain gets blocked or ruptures, causing brain cells to die.
Stroke ranks as the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, and the number one cause of disability, as people who suffer strokes often experience significant physical and emotional changes. In addition to their significant impact, strokes can be sudden. Anybody can suffer a stroke, and it can happen without warning.
There are signs to look for, however. And if you spot any of them, you need to act FAST – because every minute matters.
FAST is a tool to help spot the signs and symptoms of a stroke as they happen.
The word FAST is an acronym. If you see someone with any of these symptoms, it could be a sign that person is having a stroke.
A new acronym is “BE FAST,” adding two new symptoms:
Other symptoms not included in the acronyms, but that can be signs of a stroke, include:
Yes it can, because in a stroke minutes matter, and according to the American Stroke Association, less than half the population knows the signs of FAST.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported starting stroke treatment 15 minutes sooner leads to less disability and prevents more deaths. This means that with faster intervention, more people are able to walk out of the hospital and take care of themselves.
When it comes to stroke, it’s important to BE FAST.