Terry's Blog

Terry's Blog

FAST is a helpful guide.


A brief interruption of blood flow is known as a mini stroke.  The symptoms are not as dramatic as a full blown stroke.  They may be barely distinguishable and easy to miss.  In rare cases, symptoms may occur that you may not think of in relation to a stroke.  You may temporarily feel disoriented or experience nausea, general weakness, face or limb pain, chest pain or palpitations all of which come on suddenly.  Don’t take chances.  Get to an emergency room if you notice any unusual signs or symptoms.  Based on the acronym, FAST (Face, Arm, Speech and Time) is a helpful guide.  Face - the most common stroke symptom is weakness on one side of the body including on one side of the face.  You may have difficulty smiling.  Arm - one sided weakness often affects one of the arms.  Hold both arms out to your sides.  You could be having a stroke if one of your arms drops down to your side.  Speech - your words could sound slurred or you might be unable to say a simple sentence correctly.  If you stick your tongue out and it falls to one side, or if you are unable to hold your tongue out straight, that could also be an indication.  Time - the reason to get to an ER as quickly as possible is because of time.  New research indicates that stroke patients can benefit dramatically after receiving clot dissolving medication if they get treated within 4.5 hours after having the first symptom.

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