“There’s two kinds of stroke.” Margaret Tremwell, M.D. , PhD, is a neurologist with Washington Regional Neurology Clinic. “The first one is a stroke due to a blood clot that gets stuck in a blood vessel the brain. And so it blocks the flow of the blood there. And that area of tissue would go to doesn’t get enough oxygen or blood flow. And if it’s not treated and the clot removed in a timely fashion it can result in death of that tissue. The second kind of stroke is a bleeding stroke. And that’s when there’s a breakage of a blood vessel in the brain. And so the blood goes into the brain substance itself causes pressure and it can cause damage that way.”

“Well the best way to remember the signs and symptoms of stroke is to use the mnemonic ‘BE FAST.’

  • B is for balance, that means that you know you start listing to one side or the other and it occurs all of a sudden it doesn’t creep up on you over days or months.
  • E is for eyes, that’s either double vision or loss of vision or difficulty moving your eyes one side or to the other.
  • F is for face, and you just have the person smile and you see if the smile is symmetric or not weakness on one side could signify a stroke.
  • A is for arms you have the person put their arms out and if one side drifts down or falls down that could be a sign of a stroke.
  • S is for speech and that’s either slurring of your words or you can’t speak you can’t say the words sometimes you can’t say anything at all.
  • T is for time and that is that we have four and a half hours to give a clot buster therapy to try to resolve the symptoms and then also it’s time to call 911.

For more information on strokes go to the Washington Regional website.