If you’re familiar with stroke you may also be familiar with how stroke organizations around the world raise awareness in the community on how a layperson can spot somebody experiencing a stroke.
The F.A.S.T campaign introduces the acronym F.A.S.T as an easy way to remember the signs of stroke in approximately 80% of strokes occurring in the general population.
F = FACE
- Has the person’s face changed in appearance?
- Has one of the sides drooped or become asymmetrical?
A = ARM
- Is the person experiencing problems with one or both of their arms?
- Can they lift both arms to the same height?
- Can they grip your hand evenly with both hands?
S = SPEECH
- Is the person having trouble speaking?
- Does the person have trouble understanding what you’re saying?
T = TIME
- If you suspect that the person may be having a stroke it’s time to act FAST and call for help, dialling the emergency services phone number in your country and tell them you think that the person you are with is experiencing a stroke.
This easy-to-remember acronym has saved countless lives and has empowered bystanders and family members to make quick decisions and as a result supporting improved recovery outcomes for the people they helped.
The B.E.F.A.S.T. acronym added two more ways to spot the signs of stroke. B and E accounted for the people that have experienced stroke but did not fit the F.A.S.T. criteria.
B = BALANCE
- Is the person having trouble standing up?
- Are they experiencing dizziness?
E = EYES
- Does the person have trouble seeing out of one or both eyes?
- Is one of their eyes facing a different position?
As good as the FAST and BEFAST acronyms are at helping members of the public recognize the signs of stroke, my own experience with stroke was still different and this made me curious to see if others in the stroke community presented with different symptoms.
To satisfy my curiosity I asked for feedback from my 4100 followers on Instagram to see if anyone experienced what I did or something totally different.
144 People responded and this is how they answered in order of frequency.
- Immobility/Weakness/Numbness 27x
- Dizziness/Disorientation/Nausea 26x
- Headache 19x
- Unconsciousness/Sudden Collapse/Falling 15x
- Vomiting 14x
- Blurred/Narrow/Lost vision 11x
- Ears ringing/Hearing loss 8x
- Pain on body parts 8x
- Burning Sensation 5x
- Tingling Sensation 5x
- No signs or symptoms 3x
- Seizures/Partial Seizures 2x
- Lost appetite
What are some of your stroke symptoms that did not meet the FAST criteria? 144 people responded and this is how they answered in order of frequency with the most people responding, immobility, weakness and numbness.
Then dizziness, disorientation and nausea, headache, unconsciousness, sudden collapse and falling. vomiting, blurred, narrow vision, or lost vision is ringing and hearing loss pain on body parts, burning sensation of the skin, tingling sensation of the skin.
Some had no signs of symptoms, some experienced seizures or partial seizures, and one person answered they lost their appetite. Many of the people that responded reported the stroke was not suspected when they presented the hospital and many were quickly sent away sometimes with a prescription for headache or migraine medication.
Only having to represent a hospital sometimes hours or several days later when the situation had become far more dire. If you enjoyed this video, please hit the thumbs up if you’re watching on YouTube, hit the subscribe button and click the notifications bell to get notified of new episodes.
If you are listening on iTunes, please give the show a five-star review. If you are listening on your favorite podcast app, please share and send the message out and let people know that there are other signs of stroke. Hopefully, this will make a difference and educate some more of the community and perhaps some medical professionals that sometimes stroke doesn’t present in the standard way, be it the FAST acronym or the BEFAST acronym. Thank you for watching. I’m Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com