Act F A S T – signs of stroke

A stroke happens when the supply of blood to the brain is suddenly interrupted. It is always a medical emergency.

Call 000.

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Gisela’s collapse with thunderclap headache and vomiting was a classic presentation of subarachnoid haemorrhage, a type of stroke. But there are other types of stroke, with common features.

  • Face: check their face – has their mouth dropped?
  • Arms: can they lift both arms?
  • Speech: is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
  • Time: time is critical. When you see any of these signs, call 000 at once!

If we recognise stroke early and act F A S T, brain tissue can be rescued. Emergency medical treatment soon after symptoms begin improves the chance of survival and successful rehabilitation.

Other signs of stroke may include one or a combination of:

  • dizziness, loss of balance or an unexplained fall
  • weakness, numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg on either or both sides of the body
  • loss of vision, sudden blurring or decreased vision in one or both eyes
  • headache, usually severe and abrupt onset or unexplained change in the pattern of headaches
  • difficulty swallowing.

The signs of stroke can last a few seconds or up to 24 hours and then disappear. No matter how long they last, call 000 immediately.

The faster you act, the more of the person you save.

For more information or to make a donation contact the Stroke Foundation or the StrokeLine 1800 787 653.

Fifty cents will be donated to the Stroke Foundation from the sale of each copy of Bleed.

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