Stroke is one of the biggest killers in the world today. A brain disorder, stroke is caused when a section of the brain stops receiving oxygenated blood. In the absence of oxygen, the brain cells get damaged or die off, resulting in death and disability. When it strikes, a stroke gives off some obvious symptoms. According to Dr PR Krishnan who is a consultant neurologist at Fortis, Bangalore, some signs of a stroke include numbness in the face, weakness of the arms and legs, paralysis on one side of the body, confusion, dizziness, severe headache, vision loss and unsteady gait. Recognising these symptoms can help someone get timely medical treatment, minimising the damage the stroke can cause. A group of stroke physicians developed FAST (Face, Arm, Speech, Time) mnemonic to enhance the responsiveness of treatment. On World Stroke Day 2018, let’s learn how we can save a life. What Are the Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of This Deadly Disease?
F stands for Face. When a person suffers from a stroke, one side of his or her face may droop downwards, indicating a paralysis. Ask the person to smile. If the smile appears lopsided or uneven, it could be a sign of stroke.
A stands for Arms. Arm weakness is one of the signs of a stroke. To check for weakness, ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downwards?
S stands for Speech. Slurring or garbled speech is another sign. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. If their speech appears unclear, it’s time to take action.
T stands for Time. Timely action can help medical professions to deliver the right treatment within three hours of the acute stroke symptoms.
Even if these symptoms go away, get the person to a doctor or a hospital as soon as possible. What is a 'Silent' Stroke? Know Its Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Preventive Measures. Time is everything for a stroke patient. According to Dr Krishnan, “The golden hour is within 4.5 hours of onset of stroke.” That’s why stroke technicians are taught the mantra “Time is Brain.” Once the symptoms start showing, there’s only a small window of time for the patient. For every minute lost, the brain is deprived of life-giving oxygen and sugar, and human nervous tissue is rapidly lost. The damage caused can be irreparable. If the stroke is treated on time, the brain damage can be minimised. That’s where the FAST technique comes in handy.