Know These Warning Signs of Stroke and How to Avoid Them


Seconds matter when it comes to getting stroke treatment, which is why it is critical to have high-quality stroke care close to home. Time to treatment is the most important factor to decrease the amount of brain damage from a stroke.

If you suspect a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately.

The clot-busting drug tPA can reduce a stroke’s aftereffects. But tPA works only when begun within three hours after an ischemic stroke, the most common kind of stroke. That is one reason why stroke patients should get to the hospital quickly.

Here are some indicators that you or someone else may be having a stroke. To BEFAST in your identification, remember these tips.

  • B is for BALANCE. You feel dizzy or lose balance.
  • E is for EYESIGHT loss or change in one or both eyes.
  • F is for FACIAL WEAKNESS. Your face feels numb or droops on one side.
  • A is for ARM WEAKNESS, especially on one side.
  • S is for SPEECH PROBLEMS. You can not speak or your words are slurred.
  • T is for TIME. The faster you get treatment, the less damage you may have to your brain.

If you believe you are suffering from a stroke, call 911 or have someone call an ambulance for you immediately, even if your symptoms disappear. Also, be aware that women are more likely than men to report unusual stroke symptoms, such as sudden nausea, shortness of breath, or pain.



Emerson has a partnership with Mass General Hospital (MGH) to assess patients in Emerson’s emergency department and in the hospital for stroke 24/7/365. By using videoconferencing and image-sharing technology, stroke specialists from Emerson Hospital and MGH can quickly and thoroughly examine patients to diagnose the patient’s condition and establish a plan of care. In addition, Emerson staff can reach the MGH acute stroke service as needed, giving you access to leading-edge stroke care close to home.

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