Remember F.A.S.T. to Spot a Stroke

There are nearly 7 million stroke survivors in the United States. Many of these people are alive today because someone recognized the early signs of a stroke and called 911. With someone suffering a stroke every 40 seconds in the U.S., chances are you may need to know how to do the same in the future.

The FAST acronym is an easy way to remember the signs and symptoms of a stroke and when you need to take action. FAST stands for Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties and Time to call 911.

If you think someone is having a stroke, remember the following:


  • Does one side of the person's face droop when you ask him or her to smile?
  • Does the person say his or her face feels numb?


  • Does the person say one arm feels weak or numb?
  • Does one arm drift downward when you ask the person to raise both arms?


  • Is the person's speech slurred, or is he or she unable to speak or hard to understand?
  • Can the person repeat a simple sentence like "the sky is blue"?


  • Call 911 immediately if the person shows any of the above signs or symptoms – even if they go away.

Other stroke symptoms to know 

  • In addition to FAST, other stroke symptoms to remember include:
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of a leg
  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking
  • Sudden dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
 Remembering this information may help you save someone's life or your own life. Click for more information about the warning signs of a stroke.

Quality care is important for successful stroke recovery. The Christ Hospital recently earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association's/American Stroke Association's Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. Learn about these recognitions and why they are important for the health of our community.