Symptoms/F.A.S.T.

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Symptoms of Stroke
Stroke symptoms can vary, depending on what caused the stroke and its severity. Strokes usually happen suddenly, but it may take hours for symptoms to be noticeable. Mild weakness may later lead to paralysis on one side of the body. Several small strokes over time may lead to balance, thinking and behavioral changes.

Stroke symptoms are often mistaken for other conditions, so do not delay. If you experience any of the symptoms below, call 911 immediately.

  • Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in the face, arm or leg, especially on only one side of the body
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Sudden trouble speaking
  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
  • Sudden problems with walking, balance or coordination
  • A sudden, severe unfamiliar headache

Stroke is treatable if symptoms are quickly identified. If you suspect someone is experiencing a stroke, act FAST.

FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
ARM: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1.