In the event of a stroke it is very important to act FAST!

Receiving treatment quickly can limit the effect a stroke has on a person’s speech, movement, memory and the permanent damage or disability, paralysis and loss of independence. FAST is a helpful acronym to recognize symptoms of a stroke.


Numbness in the face, especially if numbness occurs on one side of the face.

Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes or the onset of a severe headache with no known cause.

Look at the person’s face and ask them to smile. Is one side of their mouth drooping?


Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward or doesn’t respond at all?

Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially if it occurs on only one side of the body.

Trouble walking, dizziness and loss of balance or coordination.


Speech difficulties, trouble speaking or understanding. Sudden confusion.

Ask the person to talk or repeat a simple phrase. Do they slur their speech?.


Stick out tongue. Does it lean to one side of the mouth?

If you observe any of these symptoms, it’s time to call 9-1-1 immediately!

Note the time when the symptoms were first observed. Knowing when a stroke first occurred can affect treatment decisions, such as life saving and damage reduced clot busters, known as TPA (tissue plasminogen activator). Time is brain. Time is life.