Sunday, June 10th, 2018
Last modified on May 2nd, 2022
Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and a major cause of severe, lifelong disability. Learning the warning signs of a stroke is essential to minimizing the consequences of this potentially life-threatening event.
People over 55 are at a higher risk of stroke, and this risk increases as you get older. Men, African Americans, and people diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease are also at greater risk.
Getting treatment fast should be your first priority when dealing with a stroke. Every second matters because each moment without oxygen damages your brain. You want to be able to detect the early signs of a stroke so you can get to the hospital as quickly as possible.
Strokes happen when a blood vessel that brings oxygen to the brain is either blocked (ischemic attack) or bursts open (hemorrhagic stroke). Lack of oxygen kills the brain cells that this particular blood vessel serves, and the part of the body that these brain cells control stops working.
When the blood vessel is only blocked for a short time, it’s called a transient ischemic attack (or TIA). They are like mini-strokes or warning strokes, and they tend to happen before a major stroke. The symptoms are similar to those of a major stroke but only last for a few minutes.
Knowing the signs of a stroke can help you get treatment fast and maybe even avoid a major stroke event in the case of TIAs.
Recognizing the early signs of a stroke is very important. Thankfully, they are fairly easy to learn and identify.
F.A.S.T. is an acronym to help you remember the early signs of a stroke.
Keep the F.A.S.T. list somewhere easy to see—on your refrigerator, for example. That way, you will quickly learn and remember it.
The F.A.S.T. list contains the most common signs of stroke, but there are a few more you should know.
If you notice any of the symptoms above, call 911 immediately. The faster you get medical help, the better your chances are of avoiding major disability or even death.
Transient ischemic attacks, or TIAs, are mini-strokes that often happen right before a major stroke. They are usually thought of as “warning strokes” or pre-strokes. The symptoms of a TIA are the same as in a stroke, but they subside on their own.
However, this is not a reason to ignore the symptoms; getting immediate medical assistance might help you avoid a major stroke. With TIA’s, there is a problem with the blood supply to your brain, and it needs to be addressed. Forty percent of people who get TIAs eventually have a stroke. This is not a chance you want to take.
Learning the early signs of a stroke is essential to prevent further damage to the brain, major disabilities, or even death. Knowing the F.A.S.T. acronym is the best way to remember the signs of a stroke and the actions you need to take to get help. And don’t disregard TIAs either; even if the symptoms subside, they are a major warning sign that something is going wrong in your brain.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Reliance on any information provided by the Saebo website is solely at your own risk.