St. Luke’s: time is of the essence when showing signs of a stroke

Published: May. 3, 2023 at 11:25 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — St. Luke’s is reminding people to be aware of the signs and symptoms of stroke during National Stroke Awareness Month.

St. Luke’s says the acronym BE FAST is a quick way to recognize the signs of a stroke and also emphasize the time sensitivity of a stroke.

BE FAST stands for Balance or a sudden loss of balance. Eyes, if you suddenly have blurred or loss of vision. Face drooping or numbness. Arm weakness or numbness of arms or legs. Speech, with slurred speech or unable to speak. And finally, Time, it is important to immediately call 9-1-1 if you experience any of these symptoms.

Stan Flint from St. Luke says calling 9-1-1 as opposed to driving to the hospital is not only safer but gets paramedics to you quickly.

“They’re able to come in and able to do a quick exam on you, identify which of these symptoms you’re experiencing, and in addition to that we can start an IV, we can draw labs,” said Flint. “We call the hospital; we notify them they’re ready and waiting for us.”

Flint said the difference between someone calling 9-1-1 versus driving to the hospital could be the difference in a person’s ability to continue their current way of living or not after a stroke.