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Symptoms of Stroke

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13 May, 2024

Recognizing the symptoms of a stroke can dramatically influence the outcome, potentially saving a life. At National Vascular Associates, we provide the critical support and advanced vascular treatment for our clients. If you or a loved one experiences any signs of a stroke, immediate action is essential. Read below for tips on how to identify the symptoms of a stroke.

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The Basics of Stroke Recognition

The FAST acronym is a tool designed to help identify signs of a stroke quickly and efficiently. Here’s how you can use it:

  • Face Drooping: Ask them to smile. Is one side of their face drooping or numb? Is their smile uneven or lopsided? Sometimes, the drooping can be subtle, so pay close attention to their facial symmetry.
  • Arm Weakness: Urge the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift down? Is there weakness or numbness on one side? Ask them to hold their position for a few seconds longer to confirm any slight differences in strength.
  • Speech Difficulty: Can they repeat a simple phrase? Is their speech slurred or strange? Listening for unusual pauses or difficulty in forming words can also be a telltale sign.
  • Time to Call Emergency Services: If you do observe any of these signs, even if they fluctuate or disappear, it’s time to dial emergency services immediately.

Additional Stroke Symptoms to Watch For

While the FAST method covers the most common and noticeable signs of a stroke, there are other symptoms that should not be ignored:

  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding speech.
  • Severe headache with no identifiable cause it’s often described as the worst headache ever experienced.
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes, which may include blurred or blackened vision or even seeing double.
  • A sudden and unexplained change in behavior or an abrupt loss of consciousness can also indicate a stroke has occurred.
  • Unexpected dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination, especially when combined with other symptoms.

Recognizing these additional symptoms can help in identifying strokes that might not be immediately apparent through the FAST criteria alone.

Understanding Why Time is Critical in Stroke Treatment

The longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and lasting disability. Immediate medical attention is required to limit these risks, so it’s important to recognize and react to stroke symptoms quickly. Rapid response improves survival rates and also decreases the likelihood of severe long-term effects. Emergency medical vascular treatment can include medications like thrombolytics that dissolve blood clots, which are most effective when administered as soon as possible after a stroke occurs.

Do You Need Help from an Experienced Vascular Doctor?

At National Vascular Associates, we are dedicated to providing quality vascular care for our clients. A vascular specialist is trained in the latest diagnostic and treatment technologies and can ensure that you receive expert care at a critical time. Our facilities are equipped with the most advanced medical technology available to provide comprehensive vascular care services for patients. Call to schedule an appointment with a qualified vascular doctor near you.

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