Stroke can strike at any time

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. A stroke cuts off oxygen to the brain, which causes brain cells to die.

“FAST”: the most common warning signs of stroke

The signs of stroke can be varied, but the American Stroke Association has created an acronym to identify the most common warning signs:

F = Face Drooping. Is one side of the face drooping or numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven or lopsided?

A = Arm Weakness. Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S = Speech Difficulty. Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is the person able to correctly repeat the words?

T  = Time to Call 911. If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911.

Other symptoms can occur separately or along with F.A.S.T. symptoms, including sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; numbness or weakness in the leg, arm or face, especially on one side of the body; severe headache; and dizziness or loss of balance or coordination.

Learn about Inova’s stroke treatment, rehab and support group programs at www.inova.org/stroke

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