Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds, which is almost 800,000 Americans a year.  One of the most important factors in surviving a stroke is time. When someone is having a stroke panic can set in you are unsure of what to do, especially because the clock is against you.  The longer it takes to diagnose and treat a stroke usually means the more severe the long term symptoms will be.   The first step is recognizing the warning signs which may not always be obvious right away. Remember the acronym B.E.-F.AS.T. (see below).

According to The Ame.rican Stroke Association, "Stroke is preventable, treatable, and beatable. Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by not smoking, making healthy food choices, getting enough physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and treating conditions such as high blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

The lasting effects of a stroke can make minor everyday activities both physically and mentally more exhausting, and time is the biggest component of reducing these side effects. Remember to B.E. F.A.S.T!

  • 1

    Balance

    Does the person in question have a sudden loss of balance?

  • 2

    Eyes

    Are they losing vision in one or both eyes?

  • 3

    Face

    Is part of their face drooping or uneven with the other?Do they have an uneven smile?

  • 4

    Arms

    Can they raise both of their arms equally? Is one arm weaker?

  • 5

    Speech

    Is their speech impaired or slurred?

  • 6

    Time

    Remember that time is of the essence and call 9-1-1. Time lost is brain tissue lost.