Do you know the signs of a stroke?
F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you'll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. is:
- F — Facial Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
- A — Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- S — Slurred Speech –Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
- T — Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.
Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and fifth most-frequent cause of death. In the five-county region, nearly 300 stroke patients were treated last year by UM Shore Regional Health emergency teams at UM Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton, and the UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown.
UM Shore Medical Center at Easton is designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System (MIEMSS). This designation means that stroke care is expedited and coordinated according to the highest standards. Stroke Center experts also work throughout the region to offer educational programs for community organizations and groups to raise awareness about stroke prevention, stroke symptoms and the importance of receiving immediate medical attention. Click here to listen to a podcast by Stroke Center Coordinator Jessica Fluharty, RN.
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack."
If blood flow is cut off for longer than a few seconds, the brain cannot get blood and oxygen. Brain cells can die, causing lasting damage. That's why experts say that "time lost is brain lost" or “time is brain.” It's also why it's important to get help right away.
There are two major types of stroke:
• Ischemic stroke
• Hemorrhagic stroke
Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. This may happen in two ways:
A clot may form in an artery that is already very narrow. This is called a thrombotic stroke.
A clot may break off from another place in the blood vessels of the brain, or from some other part of the body, and travel up to the brain. This is called cerebral embolism, or an embolic stroke.
Ischemic strokes may be caused by a sticky substance called plaque that can clog arteries.
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in part of the brain becomes weak and bursts open. This causes blood to leak into the brain. Some people have defects in the blood vessels of the brain that make this more likely.
You can read more by clicking here.
If you think you or someone close to you is having a stroke, CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY!