The accredited stroke centers at Centegra Health System provide the following tips to teach people how to spot a stroke F.A.S.T. during Stroke Month in May.
“It is important that community members learn to spot the signs of a stroke so they can quickly call 911 to get a victim help,” said Sarah Vela, chest pain and stroke coordinator with Centegra Health System. “The sooner a stroke victim arrives at our hospital, the sooner he or she receives treatment. The advanced care we provide can make a dramatic difference in a patient’s recovery.”
F.A.S.T. stands for:
- Face drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
- Arm weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms and look for one arm that drifts downward.
- Speech difficulty: Ask the person to repeat the simple phrase, “the sky is blue.” Is his or her speech slurred or difficult to understand? Is the sentence repeated correctly?
- Time: Call 911 immediately if the person shows any of these symptoms. It is also important to note the time that symptoms began. A clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may improve the chances of recovery but only if the person receives medical care right away.
Other stroke symptoms include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg
- Sudden confusion
- Sudden problems with vision
- Sudden trouble with balance, coordination or dizziness
- Sudden severe headache
The F.A.S.T. mobile app offered through the American Heart Association helps people identify the signs of a stroke. The app is available through Google Play for Android phones and through the App Store for iPhones.
To take a quiz about stroke warning signs, go to http://strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/WarningSigns/StrokeWarningSignsQuiz/
As the region’s leading healthcare provider, Centegra Health System continues to bring the latest treatments and technology, along with the skills of nearly 4,000 medical professionals, to meet the needs of the growing McHenry County community. For more information, visit Centegra Health System, find us on Facebook and Twitter or call 877-CENTEGRA (877-236-8347).