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Stroke is a serious emergency medical condition that affects someone every 40 seconds in the United States.
Strokes are often life-threatening, but it is possible to survive them.
For some, acting fast to get someone suffering from a stroke to lifesaving medical care increases their chances of survival and reduces long-term effects. We hope that you never have to Act FAST, but we’re here to arm you with these important steps so that you’re prepared to help save a life in the event of a stroke emergency.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke affects the brain. It occurs when blood flow is blocked to part of the brain (ischemic stroke) or a blood vessel suddenly bursts (hemorrhagic stroke). These events can cut off blood and oxygen supply to the brain and damage brain cells. Seeking quick treatment and diagnosis can help reduce the risk of long-term effects from the stroke, such as difficulty walking, speaking or eating.
Learn how to identify the signs and symptoms of a stroke. Just remember the acronym “F.A.S.T.”
- Face: Can the person smile? Does one side of the face droop?
- Arms: Can the person raise both arms? Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech: Can the person repeat a simple phrase? Is speech slurred or strange?
- Time: Call 911 immediately if any of these symptoms are present.
Remember to mark the time you first noticed the person experiencing symptoms. This can help doctors better diagnosis and treat the stroke.
Treating a Stroke
Fast treatment of a stroke allows doctors to administer special medicine that helps restore blood flow to the brain and stop damage. That quick treatment is the first step of a long journey to help your loved one – or you – heal, recover and get back to the activities you love.
No matter where you are or what care you need, take comfort in knowing lifesaving care is close to home. Our emergency rooms around the country are equipped with the tools, protocols and therapies to help restore whole health.