May is National Stroke Awareness Month

May 1, 2013

stroke happens when a blood clot blocks an artery or when a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happens, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. It's critical that a stroke be treated as an emergency.

Recognizing stroke symptoms is easier if you remember to think F.A.S.T. 

F-Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A-Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S-Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is speech slurred or strange?
T-Time: If any of these signs are observed, it's time to call 9-1-1

cf9292ff6f7b5b75166c40fdb669d460_f456.jpgA stroke can happen at any age. Symptoms include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg - especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; sudden severe headache with no known cause.

If you have any of these symptoms, dial 9-1-1 so treatment can begin immediately.

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