Stroke Symptoms

The best way to reduce your risk of long-term effects from stroke is to act F.A.S.T.

The more quickly you get to the hospital, the better your chances of getting treatment which can affect outcomes.

Signs of a Stroke 

You can help recognize the signs of someone having a stroke by using this acronym:

FASTgraphic

F.A.S.T.

Face drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

Arm weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 911: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Other warning signs that you are having a stroke include:

  • Numbness, weakness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg — especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden blurry or decreased vision in one or both eyes
  • Dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination
  • Sudden and severe headache with no apparent cause

What to do if you think someone is having a stroke:

Immediately call 911. Check the time, so you know when the first symptoms appeared. In the early period, ischemic stroke may be treated with a “clotbusting” drug called tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. This may be given up to four and a half hours of stroke onset, however, administration of tPA will be based on individual risks of complications.