stroke care

What Is a Stroke?

Is it a stroke? Act FAST

Learn the warning signs of a stroke. Act FAST and call 911 immediately if you see signs of a stroke.

  • F — Face: Does one side of the face droop? Ask the person to smile.
  • A — Arms: Does one arm drift downward? Ask the person to raise both arms.
  • S — Speech: Is their speech slurred or are the words not coming out right? Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase.
  • T — Time: Time to act! Call 911 and get the person to a certified stroke center immediately.

Note the time when any symptoms first appear. Quick response is critical for recovery after a stroke. If given within three hours of the first symptoms, clot-buster medication may reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke. Learn as many stroke symptoms as possible so you can recognize a stroke right away.

Stroke symptoms

Familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of stroke can help you in the event that you or a loved one has a stroke.

Stroke symptoms include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of 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