Thursday, May 15, 2008

Think FAST To Determine If Someone Is Having A Stroke

NAPSI-Quick thinking and prompt action can help keep you and yours from being among the 700,000 strokes that occur in the U.S. annually and result in 160,000 deaths.

Carotid arteries in the neck build up plaque as we age. Strokes result either from obstruction of blood flow to the brain by plaque or when bits of plaque and clots break off and flow to the brain. Left untreated, carotid artery disease may lead to stroke, where lack of oxygen and other essential nutrients cause damage to the brain.

It is sometimes difficult to know if someone is having a stroke. The National Stroke Association recommends this simple test to determine if someone is having a stroke:

If you are diagnosed with carotid artery disease, see a vascular surgeon. Visit for more information.

Think FAST

F = Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of her face droop?

A = Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S = Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does his speech sound slurred or strange?

T = Time. If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to call 911.

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