Why You Should Act F.A.S.T If Someone Has a Stroke

Strokes shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you are talking to someone and you notice that person’s behavior is out of the ordinary, you shouldn’t wait for the situation to get worse. Certain and sudden changes in a person’s behavior might serve as a warning sign of a stroke.

With a stroke, you only have three hours from the first sign of symptoms to receive treatment to minimize permanent brain damage. If you feel like you or your loved one might be experiencing a stroke, act F.A.S.T, and dial 9-1-1 immediately.

In honor of National Stroke Awareness Month, save precious time and your loved ones by knowing what to expect and how to respond to the warning signs of a stroke.

What Is a Stroke?

A stroke is the fourth most common causes of death and the leading cause of disability in America. A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is cut off by either a blockage or an artery rupture that bleeds into the brain tissue.

When blood supply to any part of the brain is cut off, the surrounding brain cells can die. This is why it is important to be treated for a stroke as soon as possible to prevent possible brain damage.

Warning Signs of a Stroke: Act F.A.S.T

Most of us might feel a little “off” every now and then, but the symptoms of a stroke are hard to miss and will happen suddenly.

The American Stroke Association developed an easy-to-remember guide to help you identify the warning signs of a stroke:

  • F – Face drooping: Is one side of that person’s face numb or drooping? Ask them to smile. Is the smile uneven?
  • A – Arm weakness: Have the person raise both arms. Does one arm drift downwards?
  • S – Speech difficulty: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are they having trouble speaking? Is that person’s speech hard to understand or slurred?
  • T – Time to call 9-1-1. If you notice any of these symptoms, dial 9-1-1 immediately. Make sure you note the time the symptoms began so you can report it.

Here are other symptoms someone might be experiencing:

  • Weakness in your arms, leg, or one side of the body
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Confusion
  • Unexpected severe headaches 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Hiccups

Time Is of the Essence: Call For Help

Most people are unaware that experiencing a stroke can be painless and many don’t realize they’re having one. If you notice any of these symptoms, call for help immediately even if the symptoms subside. Even if it seems like the issue has passed, 1 in 20 people who’ve experienced a mini-stroke has had another stroke within the following two days. You should treat any kind of stroke, mini or not, all the same, and get immediate care and medical treatment as soon as possible.

In order to prevent a stroke, try your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle with moderate exercise and implementing more vegetables in your diet. Reduce stress as much as possible and try your best to maintain a healthy body weight. Talk to your doctor about treatment options and ask if adding any changes to your lifestyle would be beneficial for you.

Quick FAQ 

How many people have strokes a year?

Approximately 795,000 people suffer from a stroke each year. Almost 3/4 of strokes occur in people over the age of 65. The risk of having a stroke doubles each decade after the age of 55.


Stroke. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://secondscount.org/heart-condition-centers/stroke?gclid=Cj0KCQjw3InYBRCLARIsAG6bfMSvjHdWUthfPh5bWIsAk352pr3g9IV2JVyb0W1JZHmeKZNhAUlmPwsaAgXgEALw_wcB#.WwL1IdMvxTY

 Warning Signs of Stroke. (2014, August 11). Retrieved from http://secondscount.org/heart-condition-centers/info-detail-2/warning-signs-of-stroke#.WwL1jdMvxTY

The Different Types of Strokes. (2014, September 02). Retrieved from http://secondscount.org/heart-condition-centers/info-detail-2/stroke#.WwL1gdMvxTY
 Act F.A.S.T. to Identify a Stroke in Progress. (2016, May 18). Retrieved from http://secondscount.org/heart-condition-centers/info-detail-2/act-fast-to-identify-stroke-in-progress#.WwL1htMvxTY
Quick Check for Stroke – It Can Save a Life. (2016, January 17). Retrieved from http://secondscount.org/heart-condition-centers/info-detail-2/quick-check-stroke–it-can-save-life#.WwL1kNMvxTY