Medical Monday: Stroke warning signs

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A stroke occurs when there's an interruption of blood supply to the brain. It can cause paralyzation or even death. That's why doctors are working to increase public awareness about the signs and symptoms.

Medical professionals say you can remember the acronym F.A.S.T., which stands for face, arm, speech and time. If you notice any drooping in the face, weakness in one arm or changes in your speech, it's time to call 911.

According to Neurologist Dr. Khurram Nazir, "Every minute that goes on after onset of brain damage, we are losing thousands of neurons by the minute, so we want to save as much as possible."

Dr. Nazir said there's a limited amount of time in which a clot busting medicine can be given to prevent further damage. He says the number of patients coming to the emergency room in time to receive the medicine has increased over the past year at Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center, which is a sign that the public awareness campaign is working.