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First aid: Dealing with a Stroke FAST

A stroke occurs when the blood flow to the brain gets cut off. It is a medical emergency so you need to act fast. Here’s what you need to look for:

F.A.S.T.

Face – look at the person’s face. Ask them to smile and check whether they are only able to smile on one side of their mouth. If so, it’s a sign that they may have suffered a stroke.

Arms – ask the person to raise their arms. If they can only raise one arm, this is another sign that they may have suffered a stroke.

Speech – ask the person to speak. If they are unable to speak clearly in their usual way, this is also a sign that they may have suffered a stroke.

Time – if any one of these symptoms is present, you need to call 999 or 112 and say that you suspect the person is having a stroke.

A stroke interrupts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. The faster the symptoms are recognized, the faster the condition can be treated.

While waiting for help to arrive, keep the person comfortable. Check their breathing and level of response. Avoid giving them anything to eat or drink as they might have difficulty swallowing and could possibly choke.

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