In recognition of Stroke Awareness Month, REMSA is educating the community about the signs of a stroke and what to do in an emergency. Strokes are caused by the sudden loss of blood flow to the brain from a clot or a ruptured vessel, leading to bleeding inside the head. When this blood flow stops, brain cells stop functioning and begin to die. As a result, the activities of the body controlled by dying brain cells can lose their ability to function. You can learn the basic symptoms of a stroke by following the F.A.S.T. warning signs.
F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke are:
· Face drooping – Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uncharacteristically uneven or do they report face numbness?
· Arm weakness – Ask the person to raise both arms. Is one arm weak or numb, or does one arm drift downward?
· Speech – Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, such as “the sky is blue.” Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand?
· Time to call 9-1-1 – If the person you are interacting with shows any of the symptoms above, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 immediately. It’s also advised that you check the time to know when the first symptoms appeared.
“When someone suffers from a stroke, the potential for brain-cell damage increases with every moment that passes,” said Adam Heinz, Director of Clinical Communications at REMSA. “This is why it is absolutely paramount to call 9-1-1 the moment you think someone is having a stroke.”
Rapid diagnosis, rapid response and rapid treatment of strokes are especially important because the clot-busting drugs that can reverse or limit brain damage are time sensitive and typically are administered within the first 4-6 hours from symptom onset.
Learn more about REMSA at remsahealth.com.
REMSA is a high-performance, private, locally-governed, non-profit healthcare organization and emergency medical services agency serving northern Nevada since 1986. Through an exclusive franchise agreement, REMSA provides Washoe County’s 420,000 residents with 24/7 ALS and ILS ground ambulance services. REMSA also encompasses Care Flight, a regional helicopter, airplane and ground critical care transport service; Care Flight also operates Care Flight Ground in Plumas County. REMSA offers a Nevada-licensed, post-secondary educational institution, a state-of-the-art, fully accredited 9-1-1 dispatch communications center, a Tactical Emergency Medical Support team and special events EMS teams. REMSA and Care Flight are Always Ready.
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