May 1, 2019


Announcer: The Health Minute, produced by University of Utah Health.

Interviewer: When it comes to recognizing if somebody's having a stroke, time is of the essence. Dr. Troy Madsen, why does every second count when it comes to stroke?

Dr. Madsen: Well, the big treatment that we have for stroke is a clot busting medication. So if you're having a stroke, it cuts off the blood supply to a part of the brain. You give them medication that breaks up the clot, but for that medication to work, for the benefits to outweigh the risk, you've got a certain window of time. That window is around three hours, so you've got to get in as quickly as possible. The sooner you receive it, the better.

The big signs that you want to watch for in a person are think the word F.A.S.T. Face, arms, speech, and then the T stands for time. Any face issues where a part of the face is drooping, any arm issues where one arm is weak, any speech issues where it sounds garbled, these are all reason to get to the emergency department as quickly as possible and get this treatment.

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