Learn F.A.S.T on World Stroke Day, October 29

Published: October 29, 2019

Every second counts during a stroke. Whether you’re enjoying music at a festival or are about to finally reach the front of the line at the DMV, the second you notice the sign of an impending stroke, it’s time to act.

Did you know? Worldwide, stroke is the No. 2 killer. In the U.S., someone has a stroke every 40 seconds or dies from one every four minutes.

Today, stroke is more treatable than ever. If you spot even one sign of stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately and say, “I think this is a stroke.” Once stroke symptoms begin, the patient has a very narrow window of time to receive treatment that may make the difference between recovery and disability, life and death.

Each year the American Stroke Association joins organizations and individuals across the globe for World Stroke Day to spread this message: Stroke is largely treatable.

Together to End Stroke is an American Stroke Association initiative to educate the public on recognizing common warning signs of a stroke. It also educates the public about what to do during a stroke emergency using the acronym F.A.S.T.:

  • Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
  • Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue."
  • Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.

Learn about more stroke warning signs from the American Stroke Association. Learn more about heart health on WHA’s heart health website and at our health and wellness page.  

Stroke won’t wait and neither should you.

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