How to Spot the Signs of a Stroke
by Karen Rollins Mar 6, 2023
A stroke occurs when blood is suddenly unavailable to a person’s brain due to a blockage or a bleed.
Blood clots inside the tiny arteries in the brain are the cause of ischemic strokes. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a vessel bursts and causes blood to seep into the brain itself. Hemorrhagic strokes are far less common than ischemic but are usually fatal.
The symptoms of a stroke vary from person to person, but there are some common signs which you can easily remember by using the word F.A.S.T.:
Face – has the person’s face dropped on one side? Is their mouth or eye drooping and are they unable to smile?
Arms – see if the person can lift both arms. Anyone suffering from a stroke may not be able to keep their arms up because of weakness or numbness in one arm.
Speech – is their speech slurred, unclear or garbled? A person having a stroke may not be able to talk at all despite being awake and appearing to understand.
Time – get help immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
A mini-stroke, also known as a Transient Ischaemic Attack (or TIA), tends to last a few minutes or hours before the symptoms go away. TIA’s should not be ignored as they are a serious warning sign and mean that you’re at an increased risk of having a stroke in the near future.
Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential to ensure that the affected person has the best chance of recovery.