North Central News

How to spot the warning signs of strokes

During National Stroke Awareness Month,  Abrazo Health is offering tips on how to spot the signs and symptoms of a stroke.

A stroke occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. In either case, parts of the brain become damaged or die. Stroke is a leading cause of death in the U.S. and around the world, causing lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death.

Every minute counts when someone suffers a stroke. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of strokes as well as to have a capable treatment center nearby.

Warning signs include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body, as well as sudden confusion, trouble speaking or difficulty understanding speech. Other signs of a stroke are trouble seeing in one or both eyes and sudden trouble walking, loss of balance, lack of coordination or dizziness. Another sign of a stroke is a severe headache that comes on quickly with no known cause.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a simple test to act “FAST” if you believe someone might be having a stroke. The “F” stands for face and means you should ask the person to smile to see if one side of their face droops while the “A” represents arms and means you should ask them to raise their arms to see if one arm drifts downward. The “S” stands for speech, meaning if you ask the person to repeat a simple phrase and their speech is slurred or strange it could indicate a stroke. Officials say “T” is for time, emphasizing that if you see any of these signs you should call 9-1-1 immediately.

To learn more, visit www.abrazohealth.com.

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