Act FAST to Spot Stroke Signs

May 23, 2014 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Staff awareness of stroke signs, symptoms, and treatments is important but sometimes lacking due to turnover, according to a May 13, 2014, blog post from Long-Term Living. Awareness is important because speedy treatment is critical (when it comes to stroke, "time is brain"), individuals who have had a stroke are five times as likely to have another, and stroke can pose significant rehabilitation challenges (e.g., incontinence, depression, trouble swallowing, dehydration, muscle contractions). The acronym FAST can be used to spot warning signs. The first element is "face": asking the person to smile and seeing whether one side of the face droops. The second is "arms": asking the person to raise both arms and seeing whether one drifts downward. The third is "speech": asking the person to repeat a simple phrase and observing whether speech is slurred or otherwise unusual.

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