According to stroke.org someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and it can happen to anyone at any time. Some 200,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the states alone, and there are projections for even higher numbers to come in the year 2017. Everyone can think of at least one symptom of someone who has suffered a stroke, but there are a number of others that perhaps aren’t so commonly known.
Strokes are considered medical emergencies so identifying the warning signs and symptoms quickly is imperative. When suffering from a stroke every minute counts. More brain cells are lost every minute a stroke goes untreated because blood flow is being restricted and blocked from the brain. The quicker the victim is able to seek medical assistance the less damage their speech, memory, and movement will suffer. The stroke symptoms typically develop quickly but can become apparent over hours or in rare cases even days.
Here are the 10 signs and symptoms of a stroke:
1. Numbness in Arms or Face
One of the most recognizable symptoms of a stroke is paralysis or numbness in the victim’s arm, face, or leg. Some commonly confuse this symptom of a stroke with an episode of Bell's Palsy instead.
The palsy ailment can go away on it's own, but changes in your face or limbs from a stroke can often be permanent. This type of paralysis typically occurs on only one side of the body during a stroke. When determining if someone is experiencing a stroke, medical experts recommend that you act F.A.S.T. This acronym’s first two stroke identifiers are a result of this paralysis. ‘F’ stands for face; ask the person to smile and if you notice one side of the face drooping, move on to step two. ‘A’ stands for Arms; ask the person to raise both of their arms and pay close attention to see if one arm drifts downwards or they struggle more to lift it.
2. Trouble Speaking
When your body is trying to fight through a terrible blow to the central nervous system, it tends to have very obvious symptoms. Such as when your speech becomes slurred, stuttered, or shows challenges in forming words.
These are all common difficulties of those who have recently experienced a stroke. The ‘S’ in the program F.A.S.T. stands for speech. Identify this symptom by asking the individual to repeat simple phrases after you. If their speech sounds strange, slurred, or confused and they have also failed the face and arms tests then the person is likely suffering from a stroke. At this point, move on to the ‘T’ in F.A.S.T. and recognize that it is time to call 911 immediately even if the person has only failed one of these tests.