Act FAST to Reduce Risk of Brain Damage from Stroke

The following can help you remember what to do quickly if you think you or someone else is having a stroke.  Act FAST.

Physicians treat patients with a  clot-busting drug that can help protect the brain against permanent damage, but the drug must be given within THREE hours of the stroke’s onset.

So recognizing the signs quickly is critical. Teach your kids to recognize them too.  They are:

F = FACE:  Does the face look uneven? Can the person smile?

A = ARMS:  Can the person raise both arms and keep them there?

S = SPEECH: Is the person’s speech slurred or strange?

T = TIME:  Call 911 if you notice any of these signs.

According to, Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of adult disability.

Up to 80% of strokes are preventable; you can prevent a stroke!

What is a stroke?A stroke or “brain attack” occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery (a blood vessel that carries bloodfrom the heart to the body) or a blood vessel (a tube through which the blood moves through the body) breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain.  When either of these things happen, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs.When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost.  These abilities include speech, movement and memory.  How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged. Brain
For example, someone who has a small stroke may experience only minor problems such as weakness of an arm or leg.  People who have larger strokes may be paralyzed on one side or lose their ability to speak.  Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.Stroke 101Download National Stroke Association’s Stroke 101 Fact sheet for more information.