Stroke symptoms – think FAST
FACE |ARMS |SPEECH |TIME:
- FACE: the person’s face may have dropped on one side; they may not be able to move their mouth or eye may be drooped.
- ARMS: they may not be able to lift one or both arms and keep them raised.
- SPEECH: their speech may be slurred or confused, or they may not be able to talk at all, despite appearing to be conscious.
- TIME: a stroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect someone is having or has had a stroke, call the emergency services on 999 immediately.
A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, and can lead to brain damage, paralysis and death. When the supply of blood to the brain is blocked, brain cells begin to die, therefore immediate medical attention is critical, as the sooner a stroke sufferer receives treatment the less damage is likely to occur.
There are two main types of stroke, the most common being ischaemic, where the blood supply is interrupted due to a blood clot; the second type is a haemorrhagic stroke, where a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain has burst and caused damage to brain cells.
There is also a condition known as a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), or ‘mini-stroke’, where the blood supply to the brain has been temporarily interrupted. TIAs should be taken extremely seriously as they are often a warning sign that a full stroke is imminent.
- Immediate transfer to a hospital providing specialist care
- An urgent brain scan (e.g. CT or MRI)
- Access to a specialist stroke unit
- Multidisciplinary assessment, including swallowing screening
- Stroke-specialised rehabilitation
- Planned transfer of care from hospital to community and longer term support
- Advice and information
How can we help you?