The FAST Way to Spot a Stroke - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/21/06

The FAST Way to Spot a Stroke

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death, and the leading cause of disability in this country.

Now the National Stroke Association is taking a new approach to educating people about the warning signs. They're trying to reach parents and grandparents through all those cute little kids in the family, by teaching the youngsters a little hip-hop advice.

The first stop in this experiment is Jackson Elementary in Harlem. The 5th graders there learned that an easy way to spot the signs of a stroke is to think fast, as in F-A-S-T.

  • F stands for face, meaning your smile can drop.
  • A is for arms. If you have a stroke, one of your arms will probably be down and the next one will be up.
  • S is for speech. You probably won't be able to talk, you might sound funny.
  • T is for time, meaning it's time to call 911.

The Stroke Association is targeting African American communities because it says that group is more likely to wait later to seek emergency treatment for a stroke.

Not only do the kids have a good time learning this way, but a test 6 months after the hip hop lesson showed that 80 percent of the kids remembered "FAST" and how that could help you spot a stroke. The reason it's so important to take those signs and get to the hospital fast is that stroke damage can often be reversed if it is treated within the first 3 hours after symptoms appear.

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