Spotting symptoms of a stroke. Think FAST!

Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of long-term disability, according to the American Heart and Stroke Association.  People who survive can suffer speech problems, memory and vision loss and in many cases some paralysis on one side of their body.

Art is one way stroke survivors are finding an outlet to help them cope with the lingering symptoms.  Recently the American Heart Association teamed up with Swedish Medical Center to host two art classes for stroke survivors.   The latest class happened at the Cherry Hill Campus and those who took part say it was a great way to build confidence, focus on being creative, finding their voice and getting the support they need.

FAST is the acronym used to help people remember the warning signs of a stroke.  Recognition of a stroke and getting medical help immediately can greatly improve a persons chances for help, recovery and treatment.  Doctors say getting to a hospital quickly will lead to a better recovery and long term outcomes.

FAST stands for:

F- FACE Is the Face drooped on one side?

A- ARMS Are the arms weak? Does one arm drift downward or is difficult to lift?

S- SPEECH Is the speech difficult?  Does the person have a hard time repeating a sentence, or is their speech slurred?

T- TIME  If you notice any of the above three symptoms together or one their own, call 9-1-1 immediately for help.