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How can I check for symptoms of stroke?

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Use the FAST test to check for the most common symptoms of a stroke in yourself or someone else.

Minutes matter in treating a stroke. Calling a doctor or driving to the hospital yourself wastes time. Ambulance workers can judge your situation sooner, and that boosts your chance of getting the treatment you need as soon as possible.

  • Face: Smile and see if one side of the face droops.
  • Arms: Raise both arms. Does one arm drop down?
  • Speech: Say a short phrase and check for slurred or strange speech.
  • Time: If the answer to any of these is yes, call 911 right away and write down the time when symptoms started.

From: The Warning Signs of Stroke WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Stroke Association: "Impact of Stroke," "Types of Stroke," "Stroke Warning Signs," “Act FAST,” “6 Ways You Can Prepare for an Emergency.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Stroke: Warning Signs and Tips for Prevention."

American Heart Association: "Stroke Warning Signs."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Information Page."

Neurology Today: “Calls to Physicians' Offices May Delay Stroke Care.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is a Stroke?”

Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes : “Patterns of Emergency Medical Services Use and Its Association With Timely Stroke Treatment.”

Lancet : “Effect of treatment delay, age, and stroke severity on the effects of intravenous thrombolysis with alteplase for acute ischaemic stroke: a meta-analysis of individual patient data from randomized trials.”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on November 3, 2017

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

American Stroke Association: "Impact of Stroke," "Types of Stroke," "Stroke Warning Signs," “Act FAST,” “6 Ways You Can Prepare for an Emergency.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Stroke: Warning Signs and Tips for Prevention."

American Heart Association: "Stroke Warning Signs."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Information Page."

Neurology Today: “Calls to Physicians' Offices May Delay Stroke Care.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is a Stroke?”

Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes : “Patterns of Emergency Medical Services Use and Its Association With Timely Stroke Treatment.”

Lancet : “Effect of treatment delay, age, and stroke severity on the effects of intravenous thrombolysis with alteplase for acute ischaemic stroke: a meta-analysis of individual patient data from randomized trials.”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on November 3, 2017

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.