Remember FAST save a life in stroke.

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Remember FAST  save a life in stroke.

Remember FAST save a life in stroke.

Remember F.A.S.T – save a life in stroke.

Stroke is a lethal disease and unfortunately, the incidence of this condition has increased in India while its incidence is decreasing in developed countries.

In some parts of the countries like in Northeastern India stroke is ahead of cardiac disease as the cause of death.  In the last few decades incidence of stroke has increased by 100 % in India while western countries have witnessed a decline of 40 %.

In India incidence is higher in the rural population around 200 per 100000 population compared to a national average of 150 per 100000 population. Every year 1.8 million people suffer from a stroke in India.

Our healthcare infrastructure especially in smaller towns and rural parts is not at all equipped to handle an emergency like a stroke. Ideally, the stroke should be managed by a neurologist but India has only around 2000 neurologists to handle 1. 8 million stroke cases.

The most important factor which contributes to saving lives in stroke is early diagnosis and rapid access to medical treatment. Immediate treatment prevents death and minimizes the long-term complications of a stroke. If stroke treatment with clot-dissolving medicine is started within 4 hours of the first sign of stroke it will significantly improve the chance of recovery from stroke.

Thus, identifying the signs of stroke is the key.

Warning signs of stroke –

Remember FAST.

F – change in facial contour, face may appear drooping. Ask the person to smile – smile may not be uniform on both sides of the face.

A-   Weakness in arm or legs. Ask the person to move limbs, the person may not be able to move or lift one limb.

S – speech – the person may develop slurred speech. It may be difficult to understand what he is speaking. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.

T – Time to call -if a person has any signs suggestive of stroke it's time to call an ambulance without delay.

Other signs of stroke –

Sudden onset

numbness of face or limbs mostly on one side of the body.

Sudden confusion and difficulty in speaking or understanding simple sentences.

The sudden decrease in vision – may not be able to see things clearly

Sudden severe headache

A sudden problem in standing or walking.

Remember F.A.S.T – that can save life and disability in stroke.

Dr. Rakesh Rai. MS, FRCS, MD, CCT, ASTS Fellow.