Think FAST for Stroke Awareness & Prevention | Carson Tahoe Health


Every 40 seconds someone in the United States suffers from a stroke, making it the fourth leading cause of death and the number one cause of adult disability in the country.

Fortunately, recent studies indicate that more than 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by keeping a healthy lifestyle – controlling high blood pressure; not smoking; eating a low-fat, low cholesterol diet; being physically active; maintaining a healthy body weight; and managing diabetes. Additionally, 30 percent of strokes can be reversed if treated immediately by a stroke care team.

While stroke symptoms vary, they can come on quickly and include:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially if on one side of the body
  • Confusion or trouble speaking or understanding
  • Difficulty with vision either in one eye or both
  • Trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache

“Time is of the essence when treating a stroke and every second counts,” says Shawn Binn, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Pathologist with Carson Tahoe Health. “The faster you are diagnosed and treated for a stroke, the better the chances of an improved outcome.”

Using the F.A.S.T. test can help people recognize and respond to the signs of stroke:

F = FACE – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A = ARMS – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S = SPEECH – Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?

T = TIME – If you observe any of these signs (independently or together), call 9-1-1 right away.

For more information about Carson Tahoe Health Stroke Awareness, click here.