When someone is having a stroke, every minute counts.
Just as putting out a fire quickly can stop it from spreading, treating a stroke quickly
can reduce damage to the brain.
If you learn how to recognize the telltale signs of a stroke, you can act quickly and
save a life—maybe even your own.
For both men and women, look for these five signs of a stroke, all of which come on suddenly.
One: Numbness or weakness … in the face, arm, or leg, especially when felt on just
one side of the body.
Two: Confusion … including trouble speaking or understanding speech.
Three: Trouble seeing … from one or both eyes.
Four: Trouble walking … or problems with balance or dizziness.
Five: Headache … especially a severe one that comes on suddenly.
The clock begins ticking as soon as you spot the signs of a stroke, because some treatments
can only be used if the patient reaches the hospital in the first three hours after symptoms appear.
So don’t wait. Call 9-1-1, and get the person to a hospital immediately,
even if the symptoms go away.
If you think someone is having a stroke, remember the word “FAST.”
F is for Face: Ask the person to smile, and check whether one side of their face is drooping.
A is for Arms: Have the person raise both arms, and see if one arm drifts downwards.
S is for Speech: Ask the person to repeat a short phrase,
and notice if their words sound slurred.
And finally, T is for Time: If you spot any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away to get
the person to a hospital FAST.
Strokes are medical emergencies. The sooner a patient gets treatment, the better their
chance of a good recovery.