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Emergency Department

Know the signs of STROKE

You could save the life of someone you love. Time is everything during a stroke. In fact, there is a saying that “time lost is brain lost.”

Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off. Brain cells die at a rate of 1.9 million per minute after a stroke, so the sooner blood flow can be restored, the better the chance of survival – with little or no disability.

If you, or someone with you, experiences any of these signs, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number FAST.
FAST is an easy and memorable way to remember the major signs of stroke:

F Face, is it drooping?
A Arms, can you raise them?
S Speech, is it slurred or jumbled?
T Time to call 9-1-1 right away.

Don‘t drive yourself or the person having a stroke to the hospital – an ambulance will get you to the best hospital for stroke care. The emergency medical services will be able to determine which hospital in your area can best help.

Treatments can reduce the severity of a stroke and reverse some of its effects, but only if they are given as quickly as possible.

More signs of stroke

The FAST signs are the most common signs of stroke and are more likely to be caused by stroke than any other condition. There are some additional signs of stroke that are less common. They include:

  • vision changes – blurred or double vision
  • sudden severe headache – usually accompanied by some of the other signs
  • numbness – usually on one side of the body
  • problems with balance

Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability and the 4th leading cause of death in Canada. Currently 878,000 people are living with stroke and more than 108,000 strokes occur each year – or approximately one every five minutes.

We can all beat stroke.
Share the signs and help save lives.

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