Do You Know the Warning Signs of Stroke? - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on May 15, 2017

Warning Signs of Stroke You Need to Know

Almost every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. experiences a stroke. With May being Stroke Awareness Month, we want you to understand that having a stroke is an emergency. While most people know it’s important to call 911, most people do not know all the warning signs.

"Care and treatment is most effective when started immediately," says Dr. Varun Saxena, Medical Director for the Center for Neurological Disorders at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - St. Francis. "With every passing minute, two million brain cells die. The longer the time to treatment, the worse the outcome."

Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T.

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke.

  • Face Drooping – A section of the face, usually only on one side, that is drooping and hard to move. One way to tell if this is occurring is to ask the person to smile.
  • Arm Weakness – The inability to fully raise one's arm. One way to tell if this is occurring is to ask the person to raise both arms.
  • Speech Difficulty - An inability or difficulty to understand or produce speech. On way to tell if this is occurring is to ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.”
  • Time – Time is of the essence when having a stroke. Call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Other Symptoms to Know Beyond F.A.S.T.

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg, arm or face, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

It's important to know that not all warning signs occur with each stroke. Do not ignore any of the warning signs, even if they go away. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

For More Information

To learn more about strokes:

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Don't Ignore the Warning Signs of Stroke