JOPLIN, MO.--- "A stroke, it means a blood clot, a blood forming in one of the blood vessels or maybe in the heart, went to the brain and maybe blocked an artery or blood vessels causing a stroke," said Dr. Ahmed Robbie, Freeman Health System Neurologist.
Strokes come in different forms, some more subtle than others, but health experts believe recognizing one can save a person's life.
"Either way, the area after the area affected doesn't get blood flow. So just like your heart, if you have a heart attack, part of your heart dies. The affected part of your brain will die without adequate blood flow," said Dr. Frank Veer, Freeman Health System E.R. Physician.
When someone has a mini stroke, the greatest risk of having a major stroke is within 24 hours. Even if a friend or family member seems like they're okay after a small episode, doctors tells us, always play it safe.
"We have a very narrow window of time, during of which, if it's the right type of stroke, we can have an intervention that can help potentially reverse all or some of those deficits," said Dr. Veer.
Health experts say strokes rarely effect both sides, so focus on what their lacking.
"If they're having weakness in a hand, have them squeeze both of your hands and see if one is significantly weaker than the other. If it's facial weakness, have them close their eyes and give a little resistance. If one kind of droops, but won't close all the way or won't open all the way, that can be a stroke," said Dr. Veer.
Doctors emphasize after a stroke is identified, give that individual over the counter pain medicine.
"An Aspirin is always going to be a good choice, to helping dissolve some of the clot to lessen the symptoms of stroke," said Dr. Robbie.
F.A.S.T. is an acronym used to detect if someone is having a stroke. It stands for Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties and Time. A phone call to the E.R. is the number one priority, even when you suspect someone is having a stroke.