Act FAST When a Stroke Strikes
With so much attention on COVID-19 these days, it’s easy to lose focus on other health conditions—such as stroke. But since stroke is still a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., it’s crucial to stay informed.
Stroke kills about 140,000 Americans every year. Thankfully though, the clot-busting drug tPA can reduce a stroke’s aftereffects. But tPA works only when begun within three hours after an ischemic stroke, the most common kind of stroke. That’s one reason why stroke patients should get to the hospital quickly.
To move FAST, remember these tips:
- F is for facial weakness. Your face feels numb or droops on one side.
- A is for arm weakness, especially on one side.
- S is for speech problems. You can’t speak or your words are slurred. You may not be able to understand others’ speech properly.
- T is for time; the faster you get treatment, the less damage you may have to your brain.
Phone 911 or have someone call an ambulance for you immediately, even if your symptoms disappear. You could be having a transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes called a “ministroke.” This is a warning sign that you might have a full stroke. Treatment of a TIA may help prevent a stroke in the future.
Also, be aware that women are more likely than men to report unusual stroke symptoms, such as sudden nausea, shortness of breath, or pain.
Emergency Care During COVID-19
Even though trips to the Emergency Department can be nerve-racking during this time, don’t delay care. Serious health issues still require immediate treatment, and our surgical and medical staff are fully equipped with the materials and technology needed to keep you safe and healthy.