Neurosciences

Recognizing Stroke

Knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke can save your life or the life of someone else. Even if symptoms go away, do not ignore. Symptoms may vary for each person but if you or someone else may be having a stroke, remember F.A.S.T.

FOUR LETTERS:
F-A-S-T
THREE NUMBERS:
9-1-1

Use the letters in “FAST” to spot stroke signs and know when to call 9-1-1.

F - A - S - T
F

FACE DROOPING
Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven or lopsided?

A

ARM WEAKNESS
Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S

SPEECH DIFFICULTY
Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or difficult to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is the person able to repeat the words correctly?

T

TIME TO CALL 9-1-1
If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 immediately. Time is important! Note the time when the symptoms first appeared.

Sometimes other symptoms appear separately or in combination with F.A.S.T. signs. Additional sudden symptoms may include:

  • Balance disorder- trouble walking, dizziness, loss of coordination
  • Blurred vision (or vision loss) - trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Severe headache with no known cause
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of the body – face, arm, leg
Woman with severe head ache