Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death and leading cause of disability in the U.S. Stroke can happen at any age and at any time, and everyone should be aware of the warning signs. Calling 911 allows first responders to begin treating a person with stroke symptoms before they arrive at the hospital.
Use the letters in F.A.S.T to identify a stroke:
F = Face drooping
A = Arm weakness
S = Difficulty speaking
T = Time to call 911
In addition to F.A.S.T. – Other symptoms you should know about
Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arms, or legs, especially on one side of the body
Sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding
A sudden sight of one or both eyes
Sudden LEAVING, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
Unexplained, sudden, STRIKING HEADACHE
Warning signs in posterior circulation stroke
A posterior circulation stroke (a stroke that occurs in the back of the brain) occurs when a blood vessel in the back of the brain becomes blocked, causing brain cells to die (called an infarct) in the area of the blocked blood vessel. This type of stroke can also be caused by a ruptured blood vessel in the back of the brain. When this type of stroke occurs, there are several symptoms that can be very different from those that occur in the front circulation of the brain (called an anterior circulation stroke).