May is American Stroke Month. Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States as well as the fifth leading cause of death. Take this opportunity to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of stroke so you can better protect yourself and your loved ones.

First, understand how to spot a stroke someone may be having. It can be helpful to remember the acronym “FAST.” The first indicator is face drooping and then arm weakness and speech difficulty. If any of these symptoms appear, it’s time to call 911.

F. A. S. T.

For each minute a stroke goes untreated and blood flow to the brain continues to be blocked, a person loses about 1.9 million neurons, significantly impacting brain and body functions. Here are some additional symptoms of stroke. If you experience any of these indicators of stroke or notice them in someone else, call 911 immediately.

SUDDEN numbness or weakness SUDDEN numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
SUDDEN confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding
SUDDEN trouble seeing in one or both eyes
SUDDEN trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
SUDDEN severe headache with no known cause

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