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SAVES is an acronym developed by TeleSpecialists to quickly recognize symptoms of a stroke.
S = smile. Ask the person to smile wide, showing all of their teeth. If one side of their face is drooping, or you don’t see roughly the same number of teeth on one side of the smile as the other, this may be a symptom of a stroke.
A = arms. Ask the person to hold up both of their arms with palms facing upward. If one of the arms starts drifting downward or the palm starts turning inward, this may be a symptom of a stroke.
V = vision. This includes blurred vision, double vision or vision loss. Oftentimes, a person will tell you that they’re having one or all of those symptoms. To detect vision loss, ask the person to stare straight at your nose and use their side vision to count one or two fingers in an imaginary box in front of them. If they have difficulty counting fingers, this may be a symptom of a stroke.
E = even balance. This may involve weakness of the legs, difficulty walking, or dizziness and unsteadiness when standing still. Any or all of these symptoms should alert you to a possible stroke.
S = speech. This includes both articulation and language. Articulation is being able to clearly speak in an understandable manner. Language refers to communication, both to say what you want to say and to be understood by others. If someone’s having difficulty with finding words, reading, writing, typing, or texting, or they’re having difficulty understanding you, they may be having a stroke.
For more details about SAVES, view this educational video at https://tstelemed.com/saveswithsaha/.