Whenever we hear about someone having a stroke, it is always a frightening story. There are usually serious health conditions in the aftermath and strokes themselves can be life threatening. But what exactly is a stroke? How do you know if one is happening to someone you love? Being able to identify a stroke as early as possible can be integral to treating it. Today, let’s discuss the signs of a stroke, beginning with exactly what a stroke is.
A stroke happens when blood flow to an area of the brain is limited due to a blood clot or a rupture. Similar to heart attacks resulting in restricted blood flow to the heart, a stroke occurs when the same thing occurs in the brain. Given the serious nature of strokes, being able to identify the signs of one are very important. Let’s review the F.A.S.T. method of strokes identification.
One sign of having a stroke is face drooping. One of the most common ways to tell that this paralysis is taking effect is if one side of the face or mouth begins to droop involuntarily. If you suspect someone is having a stroke, ask them to smile to see if one side of the face is drooping. Often, when someone is having a stroke, they will develop weakness or paralysis on one side of their body.
Having weak or numb arms is another sign of a stroke. Ask the person to raise both arms, and if one arm starts to fall, they might be having a stroke. This weakness occurs due to the restricted blood flow, as without proper blood circulation and oxygen, the body will begin to have trouble with muscle movement.
When someone is having a stroke, they will have difficulties with speech. Ask the person you think is having a stroke to repeat a sentence back to you. If their speech is slurred, or if they have difficulty understanding, you know that it’s likely they’re having a stroke. Sometimes, strokes can result in scrambled speech as well, that might not seem slurred at first. If you suspect someone is having a stroke, and they seem to be speaking gibberish, then this could be a sign of a stroke.
If a person is exhibiting any, or all, of the symptoms above, call 9-1-1! Time is important when dealing with a stroke. For every minute a stroke is untreated, a person loses about 1.9 million neurons, which are important brain cells that help the body function. The sooner you get them to a hospital, the better their chances of a healthy recovery are.
Strokes are medical emergencies that occur in nearly 800,000 Americans each year. They are the fifth largest cause of death in the United States. Being able to recognize the symptoms of a stroke is an important skill to have, because the sooner a person gets treated for a stroke, the less long-term damage the brain incurs.
If you witness someone that you think is having a stroke, then remember F.A.S.T. to discern if you need to call 9-1-1. In case of stroke emergencies, The Colony ER Hospital is open 24/7, and is available to treat strokes as part of our concierge-level emergency care.
This blog is written by Marian Flores, staff member at Nutex Health.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on The Colony Emergency Room Hospital or any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.