Be prepared - know the signs of a stroke

By Jeanie Hammer

Signs and symptoms of stroke always come on suddenly. Recognizing these signs and symptoms early can make a big difference in the outcome of the stroke.​​

signs of stroke
​One of our recent patients told me she was working on her computer doing genealogy when all of a sudden she noticed she could no longer use the mouse with her right hand. She thought that she had possibly been working on the computer too long. She decided to take a break and went into the living room to talk with her husband. When she spoke to him she was making no sense and her husband noticed the left side of her mouth was not moving. The husband knew that problems talking and a droopy mouth could be signs of a stroke and he immediately called 911. 

Fortunately this patient made it to the hospital quickly and with the expertise of a multidisciplinary stroke team made a full recovery. This is not always the case. 

The best way to help yourself or your loved ones to have a positive outcome if you experience a stroke is to know the signs and act in time.

BE FAST is a simple way to remember the signs and symptoms of stroke.

Balance – sudden loss of balance or coordination
Eyes – sudden changes in vision
Face – Sudden weakness of the face
Arms – sudden weakness of an arm or leg
Speech – sudden difficulty speaking
Time – time the symptoms started

If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms, please call 911 immediately. Stroke is a medical emergency and must be diagnosed and treated right away. 

If you would like a refrigerator magnet like the one shown above, please contact Jeanie Hammer at jeanie.hammer@imail.org​. Please include your mailing address.