Skip to main content

What's Up Magazine

Stroke: Know when to act, and act quickly

Dec 05, 2013 11:21AM ● By Cate Reynolds
Identifying and treating a stroke as quickly as possible can save brain cells, function, and lives. Everyone should know the warning signs of a stroke and when to get help fast.

The warning signs of a stroke can begin anywhere from a few minutes to days before a stroke actually occurs. The National Stroke Association has devised the FAST checklist to help determine whether a person is having a stroke.


If the answer to any of the questions below is yes, there’s a high probability that the person is having a stroke.

Face Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

Arms Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech! Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Does he or she fail to repeat the sentence correctly?

Time If the answer to any of these questions is yes, time is important! Call 911 or get to the hospital fast. Brain cells are dying.

Courtesy of Harvard Medical School Health Beat