MAY 13, 2017 9:38 AM PDT

Think 'FAST' in a Stroke Situation


Strokes, also known as cerebrovascular accidents or brain attacks, occur when cells in the brain die due to insufficient blood flow (ischemia) or bleeding within the brain tissue (hemorrhagic). About 75 percent of stroke cases are of the ischemic nature, where a blood vessel in the brain is blocked. Fortunately, if these patients are diagnosed properly and receive the right drugs to break up the clots,, the outcomes can be very successful. However, in order to get immediate help, people must first know how to spot the signs and symptoms of a stroke.

If you're suspecting you or someone is having a stroke, remember to think "FAST":

Face: A stroke patient may show signs of facial drooping and an inability to smile normally.

Arms: The decreased blood flow in the brain can cause stroke patients to lose the ability to lift their arms, or move their legs as normal.

Speech: Stroke patients characteristically have slurred or garbled speech. In addition, they may be confused and disorientated.

Time: The faster a stroke patient receives appropriate treatment, the higher the chance that their symptoms can be reversed.
About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at
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