One of the easiest ways to determine if someone is having a stroke is to be aware of and use the four-letter mnemonic, also known as FAST. The letters in the word correspond to symptoms to watch for or actions to take.
Taking it letter by letter:
Face – If you suspect someone is having a stroke, ask them to smile. Look for an uneven smile with one side that is drooping. This is a symptom of stroke that is easy to check for.
Arms – A person having a stroke will have weakness in one arm. Ask the person to raise their arms up. If one arm does not raise or the individual has trouble doing so, that’s another sign.
Speech – Another way to test for a stroke is to listen to the person as they speak. If their voice seems to slur, that’s the final stroke symptom included in the mnemonic.
Time – This last letter relates less to symptoms and more to actions. If the person in question has one of these symptoms, you should call the 911 immediately to get help.
Treatment for a stroke may include medications, medical procedures, or both. A tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is often given to break up any clothes in the blood. This works best the faster it is administered, hence the emphasis on calling 911 right away. Other options include surgery and specialized medical devices.
Managing the problem after getting home can be a lot of work and it can be nice to have a physician at your side. At Primary Medical Group, we can stop in and aid in your recovery, rather than making you get out to a doctor’s office. We provide the same great services as a freestanding physician office, but with convenience for you, the patient.