Sunday, 3 March 2013

Stroke symptoms ~ learn the acronym and act F.A.S.T.

In the event of a medical emergency it may be hard to think clearly, so it can be helpful to be able to reel off acronyms which remind us of vital checks.  If a person has suffered a stroke one needs to act fast, and the New Zealand Stroke Foundation's acronym for what to do is just that: F.A.S.T.  I quote their literature here:
F is for Face - Smile - is one side drooping?

A is for Arms - Raise both arms - is one side weak?

S is for Speech - Speak - unable to?  Words jumbled, slurred?

T is for Time - Act fast and call 111 [or your own nationality's medical emergency number].  Time lost may mean brain lost.
There is lots more useful information on the Stroke Foundation's website here:

It would have been helpful if I had known this when my elderly neighbour collapsed and his wife shouted for me to come.  Fortunately my sister, who also lives nearby and came over right away, did know.  

He hadn't suffered a stroke, but it was helpful to have done this basic check, and an ambulance needed to be summoned immediately in any case.  Staff at the emergency switchboards need as much information as possible so emergency staff who will be attending are well prepared.  

You can read the story of that event here: 

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