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Recognizing the Symptoms of a Stroke

If you think someone in your presence is having a stroke it always pays to act quickly. By knowing how to evaluate the face, arms, and speech of the person in question and by calling 911, the risk of death or disability can be controlled.

The warning signs are as follows:

1) A person having a stroke will have a crooked smile when asked to smile. If smile is crooked, call 911.
2) Ask the person having a stroke to hold their arms out in front of them as if they were sleepwalking. If one arm is lower than the other, call 911.
3) If speech is garbled or the words are incorrect, call 911.


If any of the above signs are shown, call 911 immediately and get to the hospital.

Other danger signs that may occur include double vision, drowsiness, and nausea or vomiting. Sometimes the warning signs may last only a few moments and then disappear. These brief episodes, known as transient ischemic attacks, or TIA’s, are sometimes called “mini-strokes”. Although brief, TIA’s identify an underlying serious condition that isn’t going away without medical help. Unfortunately, since they clear up, many people ignore them. Don’t ignore them; heeding them can save your life.


CARING Magazine / Vol.XXVIII, No.6, 2009