Find a
Find a Location
Find a
Find a Doctor

Know the Symptoms of Stroke

Common Stroke Symptom Characteristics

The range and severity of early stroke symptoms vary considerably, but they share the common characteristic of being sudden.

Warning signs may include some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Severe and sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side or the other
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Know the signs of stroke. You could save your life, or the life of someone you love. Minutes saved can save vital brain function.

Stroke Needs Rapid Recognition and Treatment

Read more about stroke risk factors and know your important health numbers.

Make sure you know how to identify the first signs of a stroke and call 911 immediately if you or someone you are with is experiencing any stroke symptoms. Do not drive yourself or someone else to the hospital. The care 911 EMS professionals can provide in the first moments of a stroke is crucial.


The acronym FAST is an easy way to remember signs of stroke and what to do if you think a stroke has occurred. A stroke is likely occurring if any one of these signs or symptoms is occurring; you do not need to have more than one symptom to be experiencing a stroke.

Remember the person having a stroke has a brain under attack and cannot make reliable decision about their care – act FAST on their behalf. Call 911 for initiation of rapid treatment and transport into the Centura Health Stroke Network.

FAST stands for:

Face – Ask the person to smile. Check to see if one side of the face droops.

Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. See if one arm drifts downward.

Speech – Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Check to see if words are slurred and if the sentence is repeated correctly.

Time – If a person shows any of these symptoms, time is essential. It is important to get to the hospital as quickly as possible.

Call 911. Act FAST.

Receiving early diagnosis and treatment may improve your chances for complete recovery. If you are experiencing any symptoms of a stroke, call 911 immediately.

Text Only Options

Change the current font size: larger | default | smaller

Current color mode is Black on White, other available modes: Yellow on Black | Black on Cream

Current color mode is Yellow on Black, other available modes: Black on White | Black on Cream

Current color mode is Black on Cream, other available modes: Black on White | Yellow on Black

Open the original version of this page.