Symptoms of a stroke usually come on suddenly and a huge amount of damage can be done in a very short space of time so it is important to be able to recognise the signs of a stroke. Each minute, over a million brain cells are damaged during a stroke so fast treatment is essential. The sings to look out for are listed below,
- Face: has the face fallen to one side, can the person smile and have their eyes or mouth dropped at all?
- Arms: can the person raise their arms or move both arms? Numbness caused by a stroke prevents some people from being able to lift up their arms.
- Speech: can the person talk properly, is their speech slurred or have they lost the power of speech?
- Time: if these symptoms are present it’s time to call 999 and wait for emergency help
The FAST template applies to 9 out of 10 strokes; additional symptoms may also include:
- Speech difficulties
- Severe headaches
- Lack of balance and coordination
- Numbness and tingling sensations
- Loss of consciousness (this is rare)