FAST Test to Remember the Signs of Stroke

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FAST acronym is used as a mnemonic to help detect and enhance responsiveness to stroke victim needs. The FAST was developed in the UK in 1998 by a group of stroke physicians, ambulance personnel, and an emergency room physician and was designed to be an integral part of a training package for ambulance staff. It stands for:

Signs of Stroke
  • Facial drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulties
  • Time to call emergency services.

What Are the Signs of Stroke?

  • WSO recommends FAST test to remember the signs of stroke.
  • FAST means the test of Face, Arms, Speech and Time.
  • Mouth has drooped, diseased is unable to raise arms and is not able to speak or understand anything, rush for medical emergency.
  • Stroke is always a medical emergency. Remembering signs of stroke and acting FAST could mean saving a life.

What is Stroke?

  • Stroke is damage to the brain from interruption of its blood supply.
  • A stroke is a medical emergency.
  • Symptoms of stroke include trouble walking, speaking, and understanding, as well as paralysis or numbness of the face, arm, or leg.

Causes and Types of Stroke

There are two types of stroke.

Ischemic Stroke

  • Similar to a heart attack, except it occurs in the blood vessels of the brain.
  • Clots form or travel to brain՚s blood vessels or in blood vessels leading to the brain
  • Occur when too much plaque (fatty deposits and cholesterol) clogs the brain՚s blood vessels.
  • 80 % of all strokes are ischemic.

Hemorrhagic Strokes

  • Blood vessel in the brain breaks or ruptures causing blood to seep into the brain tissue damaging brain cells
  • Common causes of hemorrhagic stroke are high blood pressure and brain aneurysms- aneurysm is a weakness or thinness in the blood vessel wall.

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