Open Accessibility Menu


Act “FAST” Once You or a Loved One Suffers from a Stroke

Strokes and seizures impact brain activity in distinct ways. In the case of a stroke, usually, there is an interruption of the oxygen-rich blood circulation to the brain, and brain cell death begins almost immediately and cannot be recovered. Strokes can cause permanent impairments and disability, particularly without immediate medical intervention. Once a person has sustained a stroke, there is only a very short period of time to reduce their risk of long-term disability or even death. That’s why it’s critical to BE FAST in the aftermath of a stroke, when every moment counts.

Symptoms of a Stroke

One of the most useful tools to determine if someone could possibly be having a stroke is the acronym BE FAST, which stands for:

  • Balance issues.The person may experience dizziness or problems maintaining their balance.
  • Eyes. Having blurry or double vision could indicate that the person is having a stroke.
  • Face drooping: One side of the face may droop from a stroke. Ask the person to smile, and see if the smile is lopsided, which is a sign of a stroke.
  • Arm weakness: Ask the person potentially having a stroke to raise both arms. If one arm is higher than the other, it could indicate a stroke.
  • Speech difficulties: If the person has difficulty speaking or understanding speech, it could indicate a stroke. Ask them to repeat a simple phrase, like “the weather is nice today,” and see if they can repeat it.
  • Time to call 911: Timing is key once someone has sustained a stroke, because dead brain cells do not regenerate, meaning most disabilities caused by strokes are permanent.

Are you unsure if you or someone else is having a stroke or a seizure? Call 911 immediately to explain what has happened to the dispatcher so the emergency medical team is prepared upon the patient’s arrival at the hospital. Do not attempt to move a person who may have suffered a stroke or seizure, and do not give them medicine.