According to American Heart Association studies, speed can save lives. The first thing you learn when researching stokes is speed directly proportional to the rate of recovery. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Here are some scary statistics.
Everything about a stroke demands speed. The diagnosis must be prompt, and the treatment should be immediate. For every minute a stroke is untreated, a person can lose around 1.9 million neurons, according to the National Stroke Association. Do Not Drive anyone to the hospital, if a stroke is suspected, call 911 immediately.
“We know ‘time is the brain,’” says Carolyn Brockington, MD, a neurologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “That means that the longer the brain isn’t getting enough blood flow, the more likely there’s going to be a permanent injury.”
In a 2010 study of more than 3,600 stroke patients, researchers found that the odds of a favorable outcome increased as the time between stroke onset and medical treatment decreased.
F-A-S-T: What Does It Stand For?
Perhaps no acronym is more fitting for stroke detection and treatment than F-A-S-T. This acronym can help remind you to “act fast” when a stroke is happening—to you, a loved one, or even a stranger on the street.
F is for Face: A classic stroke symptom is a drooping face, usually only affecting one side. The person may be unable to smile or show other facial expressions as usual.
A is for Arms: Weakness in one or both arms may indicate a stroke. If the person is drooping an arm or unable to lift it, it may be a stroke.
S is for Speech: Someone having a stroke may have garbled speech that almost sounds like they’re intoxicated. They may struggle to communicate or to understand your words. You can ask the person to repeat a simple phrase; if they are unable to repeat it clearly, they might be having a stroke.
T is for Time: Once you’ve noticed a drooping face, weak arms, and garbled speech, it’s time to take action quickly. “Time is so important with the brain so we want people to know: dial 911,” says Dr. Brockington. “That means it’s an emergency situation [and] they’ll be taken to the closest stroke center for rapid treatment.”
Of course, the best treatment for stroke is preventing one from happening in the first place. That meanS taking control of your everyday choices. You can start anytime to make good lifestyle choices that keep your blood vessels strong and unclogged. Take control and do whatever you can every day to lead a healthy lifestyle.
If you want to learn more, here are a few websites you may find helpful