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If you think someone is having a stroke, remember the acronym FAST, which stands for "Face, Arms, Speech and Time to call 911.” Calling 911 allows emergency medical services (EMS) to assess the patient for stroke, provide treatment and transport him or her to the nearest stroke center.
If you feel like you are having any stroke symptoms yourself, it's crucial to call 911 immediately; don't wait for the symptoms to get better or sleep them off. Many stroke treatments are time-sensitive, so don't delay.
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If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do this simple test:
F -- FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A -- ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S -- SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T -- TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
The most important thing to do if someone is having a stroke is to call 911, says Danny Rose, MD, from Frankfort Regional Medical Center. Learn why fast treatment is so important in this short video.
Signs of stroke include a drooping face, arm weakness and slurred speech. Neurologist Raul Guisado, MD, of Regional Medical Center in San Jose, shares what to do if you suspect someone is having a stroke.
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