Symptoms of Stroke

Not sure how to detect a Stroke? Think ‘F. A. S. T.’

FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred?
Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?
TIME: If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important.

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Download and Print FAST Wallet Card: [English] [Spanish]

NOTE THE TIME WHEN ANY SYMPTOMS FIRST APPEAR.

If given within three hours of the first symptom, there is an FDA-approved clot-buster medication that may reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke. There are also two other types of stroke treatment available that might help reduce the effects of stroke. Read more about stroke treatment from the National Stroke Association.

What is Stroke?

Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 3 cause of death in the United States, behind diseases of the heart and cancer.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die.

Check out some interesting facts and statistics about stroke in the U.S.