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Recognizing the Signs of a Stroke

The symptoms of a stroke can be difficult to identify. Unfortunately, that lack of awareness can spell disaster. A stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage while people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Experts say anyone can help recognize a stroke by asking four simple questions.

If you think someone may be having a stroke, ask them to…

SMILE – Ask him or her to smile for you.

TALK – Ask the person to talk so you can determine if they can speak a simple sentence coherently.

RAISE BOTH ARMS – Ask the person to raise both their arms.

STICK OUT YOUR TONGUE – Ask the person to stick out his/her tongue. If their tongue is crooked, meaning it goes to one side or the other instead of straight out, that is an indication of a stroke.

If he or she has trouble with even one of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms are going to go away. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for permanent brain damage and disability. Every minute counts!

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