Doctor performing neurological examination to diagnose stroke

How to Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T.


In the United States, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. While the risk of having a stroke increases with age, strokes can happen at any age. Use the acronym “F.A.S.T.” to spot the signs of a stroke quickly. In the event of a stroke, it’s important to get to the nearest Comprehensive Stroke Center or emergency room as quickly as possible to improve outcomes.

F - Face Drooping

Individuals experiencing a stroke will oftentimes have one side of their face begin to droop. Ask the person to smile and note any variation from one side to the other, which could be a sign of a stroke.

A - Arm Weakness

One common sign of a stroke is arm weakness or numbness. Ask the individual to raise both arms up and see if one arm begins to drop.

S - Speech Difficulty

When individuals suffer a stroke, their speech is often impaired. Ask the individual to repeat a short phrase, and if their speech is slurred or strange, they could be experiencing a stroke.

T - Time to Call 911

If you or someone you know is exhibiting the symptoms of a stroke, it's important to act quickly and call 911 or get to the nearest hospital immediately.

Recognizing these symptoms early could save someone’s life. Time lost equals brain lost, so it is important when you recognize the signs of a stroke to think F.A.S.T. and seek immediate emergency care. Locate your nearest Comprehensive Stroke Center today.

Sources: 
American Heart Association | About Stroke
CDC | Stroke Facts

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