Recognizing the Signs

Recognizing the Signs and Acting FAST

Knowing stroke's symptoms and acting fast can make the difference for you or a loved one. Stroke is a medical emergency. If you think you or a person with you is having a stroke, immediately call 911 for an ambulance to transport you to the Emergency Department at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. Do not wait to see if symptoms go away.

If these symptoms occur, call 911 immediately:

  • Sudden weakness, numbness or paralysis of the arm, leg, face or side of the body.
  • Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes or double vision.
  • Sudden fall, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden intense or unexplained headache.
  • Trouble talking or understanding speech or loss of memory.

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

Face Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arm Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, i.e., “Today is a beautiful day.” Can he/she correctly repeat the sentence? Does the speech sound garbled or slurred?
Time 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. Lost time is lost brains cells.

If you think you or a person with you is having a stroke, immediately call 911.

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