Know the Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

Often when someone has a stroke, the symptoms begin suddenly and with little warning. Each minute after a stroke occurs, 1.9 million brain cells die, so every minute matters. Knowing how to recognize a stroke and immediately calling 911 to receive treatment at an advanced primary stroke center will save brain cells and increase chances of achieving full recovery.

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

Stroke symptoms are distinct because they happen quickly:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, such as in the leg and arm on the same side
  • Sudden facial drooping or uneven appearance of the face, possibly accompanied by drooling
  • Sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden dizziness, difficulty walking, or loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Additional Information

An easy way to remember and check for stroke symptoms is by using the FAST Test:

F = FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their 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 phrase. Does their speech sound slurred or strange?
T = TIME: If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to call 9-1-1.