What are the signs and symptoms of a stroke?
Strokes are sudden and may affect speech and movement. Some people’s sight is affected, while others become confused and unsteady, have trouble speaking or experience a sudden, severe headache for no apparent reason.
Recognise a stroke
A quick response to the signs of a stroke, listed below, can significantly improve chances of survival and recovery.
The “FAST” test, which has been devised by the Stroke Association, is a helpful way of assessing three specific symptoms of stroke:
Facial weakness: Can they smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
Arm weakness: Can they raise both arms?
Speech problems: Can they speak clearly and understand what you say?
Time to call 911
This is not a complete list of symptoms patients may experience.
Always act fast
If someone fails any of these tests, get help immediately by dialing 911.
A stroke should always be treated as a medical emergency – a speedy response can improve a person’s chances of survival and recovery.
Don’t ignore short-term symptoms
A mini-stroke, also known as a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), may produce symptoms that disappear within 24 hours. Just because the symptoms pass doesn’t mean this isn’t serious. A mini-stroke or TIA can be a warning sign that someone is at risk of a major stroke and should always be treated as a medical emergency.
Listen to family and friends
When someone has a stroke, they often don’t realize they have a problem, and it may be a relative who first notices that something is wrong. They may comment that the person’s face looks odd or their speech seems slurred; remember that stroke should be treated as a medical emergency so act FAST.