COOS BAY — The signs of a stroke can be identified through the acronym FAST.

F – Face Drooping

A – Arm Weakness

S – Speech Difficulty

T – Time to Call 911

“One or more of face weakness, arm weakness and speech difficulty symptoms are present in 88 percent of all stroke and transient ischemic attacks,” said a release from Bay Area Hospital, referencing information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “If you get to the hospital within three hours of the first symptoms of an ischemic stroke, you may get a type of ‘clot-busting’ drug to break up blood clots.”

This drug improves the chances of recovering from a stroke, the release said, adding that these patients are most likely to fully recover and have less disability than patients who don’t receive this drug, known as tPA.

“Patients treated with tPA are also less likely to need long-term care in a nursing home,” the release said. “Unfortunately, many stroke victims don’t get to the hospital in time for tPA treatment. This is why it’s so important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke right away and call 911.”

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Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.