Did you know that a stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America and the leading cause of adult disability? It is important to be informed of the signs and symptoms that lead up to a stroke to make sure you can quickly help the person having a stroke or get help if that person is you.

A stroke happens when the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off. The symptoms of a stroke depend on the region of the brain that is being affected by the loss of blood supply and can include changes in sensation or motor control. Symptoms of a stroke can also depend on the amount of brain tissue that is deprived of blood supply. For instance, a person who had a mild stroke may experience temporary weakness of an arm or leg but, someone who suffered a more severe stroke may be permanently paralyzed on one side of their body or could lose their ability to speak. If the blood supply is not restored quickly, either on its own or by medical treatment, the effects could become permanent.

Time is of the essence when you suspect someone may be having a stroke. Acting fast is critical to their health. Receiving treatment immediately can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and can potentially save a person’s life. FAST is an acronym used to quickly identify and detect the most common symptoms of a stroke.

  • F: Face drooping. The best way to identify this is to ask the person to smile and see if one side of their face is drooping. One side of their face could also be numb, which will make the smile appear uneven.
  • A: Arm weakness. Ask the person to raise both of their arms. See if there is weakness or numbness on one side, or if one arm is drifting down or will not even raise up.
  • S: Speech difficulty. One of the most common signs of a stroke is slurring of a person’s speech or having difficulty speaking at all. In some cases, their speech might be incomprehensible. Ask the person to repeat a basic sentence and keep an ear out for any speech abnormality.
  • T: Time to call 9-1-1! If a person shows any of these symptoms at all, even if the symptoms went away, call 9-1-1 immediately and get the person to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.

By informing yourself of the symptoms of a stroke and remembering to act FAST, you could potentially save a life. Don’t delay and call 9-1-1 immediately. If you’re either suffering from a stroke or witnessing a stroke Gonzaba Urgent Care can help. Gonzaba offers 24-hour urgent care in San Antonio. Contact us today at (210) 921-6600 or visit our website for more information on how to recognize a stroke.