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Stroke Awareness

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.

80 percent of strokes are preventable.

Stroke Symptoms


Men and women who have strokes often feel similar symptoms of stroke, such as face drooping, arm weakness and speech difficulty.

Other common signs for both women and men include problems seeing out of one or both eyes and balance or coordination problems.

Women can also experience:

  • General weakness

  • Disorientation and confusion or memory problems

  • Fatigue, nausea or vomiting

However, some signs of stroke in women can be subtle enough to be missed or brushed off. That can lead to delays in getting time-sensitive, lifesaving treatments.

Other Stroke Symptoms

Watch for Sudden:


  • NUMBNESS or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body

  • CONFUSION, trouble speaking or understanding speech

  • TROUBLE SEEING in one or both eyes

  • TROUBLE WALKING, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

  • SEVERE HEADACHE with no known cause

Use the letters in F.A.S.T to spot a Stroke


  • F = Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?

  • A = Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

  • S = Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred?

  • T = Time to call 911

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