Are you experiencing stroke symptoms? Call 9-1-1 immediately!
When a stroke occurs, it’s time to act fast – if you or someone you know shows sudden signs of facial drooping, arm weakness, or speech difficulty, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1, even if the symptoms last a short time. Los Alamos Medical Center emergency services provide round-the-clock-treatment, so that you can find the care you need, when you need it most. Learn more about your risk of stroke by taking our free stroke health assessment.
What is a Stroke?
When the brain’s blood flow is stopped by a blockage or leaks into the wrong place, brain cells die. This is called a stroke. Brain cells that die will not recover (resulting in permanent brain damage). Other brain cells are in shock and will start working again after a while. No one can tell just how long it will take for these cells to begin working again. Most healing happens in the first year, but people may improve their skills for much longer.
Disability from stroke can take many forms depending on the area of the brain that is damaged. The stroke’s effect may be slight and temporary or it may be serious, even fatal. A typical stroke survivor may not be able to use his or her right or left side of the body, or may have communication problems such as not being able to speak or read. Every stroke is different.
Symptoms of a Stroke
If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of a TIA or a stroke, remember to B.E. F.A.S.T.
Balance: If you have a sudden loss of balance or dizziness, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Eyes: If you have sudden vision changes, such as blurring or partial blindness, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Face: Ask the person to smile. If the face is droopy on one side, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Arm: Ask the person to raise both arms. If one arm drifts down or cannot be raised, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Speech: Ask the person to say a simple phrase. If speech is slurred or they are having difficulty saying words, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Time: Call 9-1-1 immediately. With a stroke, time lost is brain lost. Another common symptom of a stroke is the sudden onset of a severe headache.