Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms

A stroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect a stroke, call 911 right away and report the stroke symptoms. Early treatment can make a huge difference in recovery after stroke.

It is important that all members of your household know the signs of a stroke. Be sure to note the time symptoms are first noticed.

Symptoms include any of the following:

  • Sudden dizziness, or decreased balance or coordination
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, an arm or a leg
  • Sudden confusion
  • Sudden trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden severe headache (with no known cause)

Act F.A.S.T

Every minute counts for stroke patients and acting F.A.S.T. can lead patients to the stroke treatment they need. The most effective stroke treatments are only available if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within the first three hours of the first symptoms. Stroke patients may not be eligible for some stroke treatments if they arrive at the hospital after the three-hour window.

This simple test will help you detect stroke symptoms and Act FAST.

  • 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 phrase (such as, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”). Are the words slurred or hard to understand?
  • Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.