How to Tell If Someone Is Having a Stroke
And why I never leave home without my Emergency Contact Bracelet.
Spotting Stroke Symptoms
It used to be that the acronym FAST was the best way to tell if someone was having a stroke. (I’m paraphrasing here.)
F – Look for Facial Droop in the eye or mouth
A – Ask them to raise their arms – is one lower than the other?
S – Is their speech slurred?
T – Time is critical, call 911 or go to the Emergency Room preferably in a Center that specializes in strokes. https://nortonhealthcare.com/news/stroke-awareness
If they can’t do any one of these it is likely the person may be experiencing a stroke. And time is of the essence since “time wasted is brain wasted”. That’s a very powerful phrase.
Learning the Signs of a Stroke Before It Happens
My mother had a stroke in her 80’s so I was well aware of the symptoms. But no one said anything about blurred vision. This I know first hand because I experienced it. Knowing all the FAST symptoms, I never thought blurred vision had anything to do with a stroke. I felt great but the vision impairment was in both eyes. That was Clue #1 it was a brain issue not an eye issue which I thought it was. I had indeed had a stroke at the very tender age of 62 that affected my peripheral vision. Fortunately, most of my vision has recovered and I can still function normally. But I wanted to spread the word about the symptom update thanks to the Norton Neuroscience Institute. So here’s the latest acronym for stroke awareness:
The BEFAST Stroke Method
B – Balance – trouble walking, loss of balance, coordination or dizziness.
E – Eyes – trouble seeing or change in vision in 1 or both eyes?
F – Face – Ask to Smile. Is it even, look droopy, or numb?
A – Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms, does one drop down? Look for weakness or numbness in one arm or leg
S – Speech – trouble speaking, slurred or difficult speech
T – Time – time lost = brain lost! Note the time symptoms start because you’ll be asked.
OR a sudden, severe headache could also be a symptom.
Why You Need an Emergency Contact Bracelet
I had to find out the hard way about the latest stroke acronym. Here’s a link to assess your Risk for a Stroke. Once you’ve experienced a stroke you are more likely to have another so I don’t leave home without my emergency contact bracelet. I’ve included “Stroke Survivor” and “75mg Clopidogrel” so if an EMT needs to know it’s readily available. I also have a “Medtronic ICM Loop Recorder” so my bracelet says that as well. I didn’t think who made the loop recorder was important until the emergency room wanted to know so they could read it properly. So now I’ve added Medtronic so they know how to read the device. Not to sound like a commercial but we custom engrave so you tell us what you want and we’ll engrave it. We’ll always contact you with questions.
About the Author
Michele Redmon is the owner of I.C.O.E. Bracelets. She loves the peace of mind these bracelets provide to parents, grandparents and children. With customer service a priority, she loves talking to her customers so drop her a line at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.