Mar 4, 2021

Interviewer: Often when a person's having a stroke they don't even realize it. That's why it's important that you should be able to recognize the signs. Dr. Jennifer Majrtsik, what are the signs of a stroke?

Dr. Majrtsik: The signs of a stroke can be remembered by using the easy acronym FAST, F-A-S-T. F is for face and we look for weakness on one side of the face or a facial droop. You can just ask somebody to smile and see if their smile is crooked. A is for arm and it's for arm strength. You ask the patient to lift up both arms and see if one of them can't lift or can't move.

S is for speech and we really see if they can both make speech and understand speech, and it should be clear. Last, T is for time because time is of the essence. We only have a short period in which to give the medicine for stroke, and the sooner you recognize a stroke, the sooner you can call 911 and the medical team can spring into action.


updated: March 4, 2021
originally published: April 13, 2017

For Patients