Stroke Symptoms and Warning Signs

By learning and sharing the stroke warning signs, F.A.S.T., you just might save a life from stroke.

One morning Sherry Pinkstaff woke  up in her Atlantic Beach, Florida, home and laid in bed thinking about the day to come. At first, nothing seemed out of sorts, but when she tried to get up, she wondered why there was a toy in the bed. The object in her way was her arm. Standing up, she felt "cloudy … not quite right."

When Pinkstaff woke up her husband, Kevin, he noticed the right side of her face was drooping and her speech was slurred. She also had weakness in her right arm and leg. He called 911. An ambulance arrived within minutes.


Read how knowing the signs of stroke helped to save Sherry's life
 "Everybody is looking at you, but you can't talk," Pinkstaff said. "It's a very scary and vulnerable feeling."

Celebrate the Men in Your Life

Nearly 50% of all adult men have high blood pressure. Monitor your blood pressure regularly to help reduce your risk of stroke. 

Use the letters in "F.A.S.T." to spot stroke signs and know when to call 9-1-1.

Letter F

Face Drooping

Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven or lopsided?

letter A

Arm Weakness

Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

letter S

Speech

Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.

Letter t

Time to Call 9-1-1

If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Additional Symptoms of Stroke

If someone shows any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services immediately.

Sudden Numbness

Sudden NUMBNESS or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body

Sudden Confusion

Sudden CONFUSION, trouble speaking or understanding speech

Sudden Trouble Seeing

Sudden TROUBLE SEEING in one or both eyes

Sudden Trouble Walking

Sudden TROUBLE WALKING, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Sudden Severe Headache

Sudden SEVERE HEADACHE with no known cause

Be prepared

Learn more about the stroke warning signs and symptoms.
woman comforting man

After Calling 911

Receiving timely stroke treatment is an important step to recovery. Learn why:

Stroke Hero Toolkit

What's your super power? 

A simple guide for educators, mentors, advocates, youth leaders and parents.  Stroke Heros Toolkit cover page

F.A.S.T. Video Gallery