Not a very happy subject today but basic common knowledge. One of your guests or collegues can have a stroke or TIA. Both a stroke and a TIA are medical emergencies and need immediate medical attention. As a way of helping the general public become more aware of the symptoms of a stroke or TIA, a simple ‘symptom checklist’ to remember has been devised and publicised. This is to think of the word ‘FAST‘. That is:
F – Facial weakness. Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
A – Arm weakness. Can the person raise both arms?
S – Speech disturbance. Can the person speak clearly? Can they understand what you say?
T – Test for each of the above three things.
If any of these symptoms suddenly develop, then the person needs to see a doctor urgently. So call an ambulance FAST. The FAST checklist does not cover every possible symptom of stroke or TIA. However, it is easy to remember and it is estimated that about 8 or 9 in 10 people with a stroke or TIA will have one or more ‘FAST’ symptoms.