Helping someone who is having a stroke

By | August 17, 2014

Helping someone who is having a stroke (brain attack)

Carry out the FAST test.

FAST1F- Facial weakness
A- Arm weakness
S- Speech difficulty
T- Time to call emergency services


Stroke symptoms include:

  • SUDDEN numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body.
  • SUDDEN confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • SUDDEN trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • SUDDEN trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • SUDDEN severe headache with no known cause.

This is one of 14 videos on an online learning resource called Everyday First Aid – an easy way to learn basic first aid skills, featuring real people in real-life scenarios.

 What is a stroke?

A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted.

Blood is carried to the brain by the arteries. This blood contains oxygen and important nutrients for your brain cells. When brain cells do not get enough oxygen or nutrients, they die. The area of brain damage is called a cerebral infarct.

Blood may be interrupted or stop moving through an artery, because the artery is blocked (ischaemic stroke) or bursts (haemorrhagic stroke).

Brain cells can die shortly after the stroke starts. However, some can last a few hours, if the blood supply is not cut off completely.


It’s important to know that If the blood supply can be returned in the minutes and hours after the stroke, some of these cells may recover. So even though symptoms may go away, do not delay, get medical treatment as quickly as possible.



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