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Warning signs of stroke

Updated on September 23, 2011

A stroke is a medical emergency, where the blood supply to the brain is disrupted due to a blood clot or burst blood vessel. Anyone can have a stroke, and the warning signs of a stroke are something that everyone should know. You could help prevent someone from dying or from experiencing a life of disability, if you act fast upon recognising the signs of a stroke.

The warning signs of a stroke include the following, as per American Stroke Association.

1) Sudden numbness and/or weakness of the face, arm or leg – particularly on one side of the body

2) Sudden confusion, inability to speak

3) Sudden loss of balance, difficulty walking, loss of coordination

4) Sudden vision difficulties

5) Sudden severe headache

The warning signs of a stroke can also be remembered using the mnemonic FAST.

Face – ask the person to smile – is one side of the face drooping?

Arms – ask the person to raise both arms – do they have difficulty raising one arm?

Speech – ask the person to speak a simple sentence – are they slurring or talking strangely?

Time – is critical.

It is absolutely critical that ambulance is called immediately; as soon as anyone is noticed to be displaying ANY of the warning signs of a stroke. The medications that can be given to help break down a blood clot work best if given within three hours of when the person first started to display the signs of a stroke.

After having a stroke, treatment is a combination of medications, lifestyle modifications and rehabilitation. The goals are to help those affected by stroke to recover as much functional ability as possible; unfortunately most people will have to live with some disability for the rest of their lives. Lifestyle modifications and medications are used in combination to minimise the risk factors for stroke to help prevent another stroke from occurring.


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    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Good advice

    • smpharm profile image

      Sarah Knight 6 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

      Thanks for the comment, I'm glad you found the information helpful.

    • profile image

      lavender3957 6 years ago

      Wonderful informative hub! Nice to know at my age. Or any age at that matter. Thanks for the info