B.E.F.A.S.T. Stroke Awareness | Tufts Medical Center


Hi guys, my name is Kate Skeels. I’m the Stoke Advanced Practice Nurse with a Comprehensive Stroke Center here at Tufts Medical Center. I want to talk to you guys today about some common signs and symptoms of stroke and an easy way to remember it in case any of your family members friends or people you may meet on the street or look like they’re having a stroke. So easy way to remember it is BE FAST. B stands for balanced. So if you notice that someone has a sudden change in their balance, they may be limping, they may be falling over to one side. They may be uncoordinated in walking or they’re falling over. That would be a sign that there may be something wrong. The E stands for eyes So are they having a sudden vision change whether it be blurry vision, double vision, a loss of vision in both of their eyes one of their eyes part of their vision Is there a dark spot any vision changes that are sudden. so next, F stands for Face. So for this if you notice that someone’s face is uneven so their smile is uneven or asymmetric, one side of their face looks like it’s drooping. This also could be a sign that they’re having a stroke. Next would be A or arms. So is one of their arms suddenly weak, are they unable to hold something, is their grasp weaker does one of their arms drift down if you ask them to hold both of their arms in front of them. So we often tell people put your arms up like you’re holding a pizza box And if one of their arms drifts or falls or seems weak, this could be a sign that they’re having a stroke. S or speech So for this we’re looking to see is the person having trouble with their speech. This could be are they having trouble talking. Are they having trouble understanding, What’s coming out when you ask them a question? Are they forming words or does it sound like word salad or garbled speech? Are they able to speak but it sounds slurred. All of these could be a potential sign that someone’s having a stroke. So T stands for Time. We often tell people time is brain. For this we want you to remember that if someone is having any of the signs of stroke that you should get to the hospital by calling 911 or the Emergency Department as soon as possible. The quicker that you come into the hospital the quicker we can treat you and the more successful that. treatment often is. So T, time, is brain. Not everyone may have these signs or symptoms and not everyone will have just one. You may have many of them. You may have a few of them or you may have none of them But anytime you’re concerned and you think that a stroke could be a possibility, please go to your emergency room or call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. If you would like to learn more about BE FAST, you should go to tuftsmedicalcenter.org/stroke

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