Stroke Warning Signs and Symptoms

Use the letters in "fast" to spot stroke signs and know when to call 9-1-1.


Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven or lopsided?


Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?


Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the person able to correctly repeat the words?


If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and say, "I think this is a stroke" to help get the person to the hospital immediately. Time is important! Don't delay, and also note the time when the first symptoms appeared. Emergency responders will want to know.

Sometimes other symptoms appear, separately, in combination or with F.A.S.T. signs.


Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech.


Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg. Especially on one side of the body.


Sudden trouble seeing in one or Both eyes.


Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.


Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

If someone shows any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services immediately.

After Calling 911:

Receiving timely stroke treatment is an important strep to recovery. Learn why:

Raise Stroke Awareness

High blood pressure? Higher risk of stroke. Learn what you can do about it.
F.A.S.T. action and  stroke treatment can better your chances for recovery. Watch how!

The Life After Stroke Journey

Every stroke recovery is different. Read our Life After Stroke resources to help you navigate the milestones to recovery.