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A lesson in the warning signs of a stroke

A lesson in the warning signs of a stroke Click to Enlarge Photo:

May 11, 2012 at 8:40 am

ST. CLOUD, MN (KNSI) – May is Stroke Awareness Month in Minnesota, and a young man from St. Cloud can testify to the importance of educating yourself about the warning signs.

Kyle Sheeler was a healthy and athletic 18-year-old when he suffered a stroke. Since then he's learned the warning signs, easily remembered with the acronym FAST. He laid out the acronym for KNSI.

F: "For face. If you notice your face is starting to become droopy on one side"

A: "For arm. Many times on one side of the body your arm will become numb."

S: "For speech. Speech can become hazy."

T: "For time. Time lost truly is brain lost."

That final letter, 'T' for 'time' is the biggest factor to remember. Administration of clot-busting medication quickly can significantly reduce the effects of a stroke.

"You want to act fast. The longer you wait, the more brain that's damaged so don't hesitate to call 9-1-1," Sheeler said. "With the more time that passes you could have more cognitive difficulties, more physical difficulties...you have to act fast when you recognize the warning signs of stroke."

According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in Minnesota; and each year strokes land more than 10,500 Minnesotans in the hospital.

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