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Warning Signs of Stroke

Get Immediate Help

If you or someone you're with shows the signs of a stroke, don't wait to seek help. Calling 911 is the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency Medical Services can begin treating you on the way to the hospital.

Stroke Warning Signs

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. Knowing the warning signs of a stroke and getting immediate medical help can save a life.

  • 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

Another way to watch for the warning signs is to think FAST:

F = Face
Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A = Arms
Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S = Speech
Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred?

T = Time
If you observe any of these signs, then it’s time to call 9-1-1.