Stroke Warning Signs

If you notice one or more of these signs, don't wait. Stroke is a medical emergency.
Call your emergency medical services and get to a hospital right away!

Learn the warning signs of stroke

  • 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

Take action in an emergency

  • Not all the warning signs occur in every stroke. Don't ignore signs of stroke, even if they go away!
  • Check the time. When did the first warning sign or symptom start? You'll be asked this important question later.
  • If you have one or more stroke symptoms that last more than a few minutes, don't delay! Seek immediate medical attention!
  • If you're with someone who may be having stroke symptoms, immediately call one of the emergency rescue service numbers. Expect the person to protest — denial is common. Don't take "no" for an answer. Insist on taking prompt action.

The FAST test

Facial weakness, arm weakness and speech difficulties are common signs of stroke. You can use the FAST test to remember the signs of stroke

The FAST test involves asking three simple questions:

  • Face – Can the person smile, has their mouth drooped?
  • Arms – Can the person raise both arms?
  • Speech – Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
  • Time – Act FAST!

If you answer yes to any of these questions, act FAST and call for medical emergency help immediately.

Stroke is always a medical emergency. Remembering the signs of stroke and acting FAST could mean saving a life.

What causes stroke

  • High blood pressure (Hypertension is the most common and treatable risk factor in stroke)
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary life style
  • Atrial fibrillation

Stroke warning signs

  • Heart disease
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Alcohol

It is possible to prevent stroke

  • Good control of blood pressure
  • Good control of diabetes
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Regular exercise
  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Never ignore a small stroke

Help to spread this information to your friends and family. Show them that you care!

World Stroke Organization

logo-world-strokeDedicated to improve care for stroke survivors worldwide. 

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The Post Stroke Checklist
Improving Life After Stroke

Developed to focus on the need for improved long-term stroke management.

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