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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Someone Having A Stroke? Act F.A.S.T.!

(Photo image taken from

I've known friends and family who suffered from a stroke. Basically, a stroke is considered an attack on the brain when the body's "plumbing" system isn't working properly. This is when blood flow to the brain is hampered either because it is being choked by a blood clot or if the blood leaks from a blood vessel that burst. The cells in the affected area of the brain then begin to die because they can not receive food and oxygen supplied by the blood. Thus, it can not regulate or control specific body functions making the victim feel paralyzed on one side of the body, or can not talk or even see properly. The picture below illustrates what a stroke would look like in the case of a blockage from a blood clot.

The US-based National Stroke Association shares an encouraging statistic though: up to 80% of stroke cases are preventable. Unsurprisingly, it all goes back to living well and healthy.

If you suspect someone might be having a stroke, remember the mnemonic F-A-S-T for rapid assessment:

F - Face. Does one side droop down? Can they smile?

A - Arms. Ask the victim to raise his/her arms. Are they unable to or does one arm seem weak and paralyzed?

S - Speech. Can they move their lips or mouth? Do they slur the words? Can they even understand you?

T - Time. Get to the nearest hospital quickly. Strokes are considered a life-or-death emergency.

A British video below -

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