Stroke Warning Signs

What Are Stroke Warning Signs?

  • Sudden weakness or numbness 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
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

It is very important to call 9-1-1 if you see or have any of these symptoms. Immediate response is crucial because every minute counts – from the time symptoms first become noticeable to the time treatment is received, more brain cells die. In other words TIME IS BRAIN!!

TIA (Transient Ischemic Attacks)

TIA symptoms are temporary, but are the same as those of a stroke. They occur when blood flow through a brain artery is blocked for a short time, usually less than 2 hours. TIA’s are serious warning signs that can happen before a major stroke. A TIA is often referred to as a “mini-stroke” and is a warning sign so CALL 9-1-1 immediately. Up to 40% of all persons who experience a TIA will go on to have a full stroke.

Recognizing the Signs and Acting FAST

Stroke is a medical emergency. If you think that you or someone else is having a stroke, immediately call 9-1-1 for an ambulance to transport you to the nearest designated stroke center. Not every hospital is a stroke center so going to the wrong hospital can delay treatment. Do not wait to see if the symptoms go away. The sooner you notice the signs of stroke and call 911, the better your chance for recovery. Time is essential!!

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to identify a possible stroke:


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


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


Does the speech sound garbled or slurred?


If the answer to any of the above is yes, it is time to act. Call 911 immediately to get the person to the emergency room quickly.

[ top ]