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Stroke Warning Symptoms and Signs

How can you tell if you or someone else is having a stroke? Remember to Act
F-A-S-T to save brain tissue. Watch for these stroke signs and call 9-1-1 immediately:

F – FACE drooping, including a lopsided smile or drooping eye, and numbness
A – ARM dangling, including a weak arm that won’t move, and numbness
S – SLURRED SPEECH or words that sound like gibberish
T – TIME to call 9-1-1 for immediate help, and note the time symptoms appeared

It is important to note the time because certain treatments can only be considered within 3 to 4 hours from the start of the first symptom.

Other symptoms that could be stroke, and merit an immediate call for medical help, include:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness in the leg, arm or face
  • Sudden confusion or difficulty understanding
  • Sudden difficulty with sight in either or both eyes
  • Sudden difficulty with walking, balance or coordination
  • Sudden and severe headache without cause

You should also call 9-1-1 immediately if someone has a TIA – a transient ischemic attack or “minor” stroke. TIA symptoms are similar to a major stroke, although generally short lived. Still, a TIA could indicate that a major stroke might occur, so seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Contact Information

Division of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Department of Neurology
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-632-8911/8913/8917

Act F-A-S-T

How can you tell if you or someone else is having a stroke? Remember to Act F-A-S-T to save brain tissue. Watch for these stroke signs and call 9-1-1 immediately:
 
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