Open Accessibility Menu

BE FAST: Stroke Symptoms

Use the letters in B.E. F.A.S.T to spot a Stroke

  • B is for Balance — a sudden loss of Balance.
  • E is for Eyes — a sudden change in vision.
  • F is for FACE — Does one side of the patient's face droop more than the other?
  • A is for Arms — Can you raise both arms and keep them raised for 10 seconds?
  • S is for Speech — Is the patient's speech slurred more than usual?
  • T is for Time —If you see any of these signs, it's time to call 911.

Other Symptoms You Should Know

  • Sudden NUMBNESS or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden CONFUSION, trouble speaking, or understanding speech
  • Sudden TROUBLE SEEING in one or both eyes
  • Sudden TROUBLE WALKING, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden SEVERE HEADACHE with no known cause

Warning Signs in Posterior Circulation Strokes

Posterior circulations strokes (a stroke that occurs in the back part of the brain) happens when a blood vessel in the back part of the brain is blocked, causing the death of brain cells (called an infarction) in the area of the blocked blood vessel. This type of stroke can also be caused by a ruptured blood vessel in the back part of the brain. When this type of stroke happens, several symptoms occur and they can be very different than the symptoms that occur in the blood circulation to the front part of the brain (called anterior circulation strokes).

  • Vertigo. It feels like the room is spinning.
  • Imbalance
  • One-sided arm or leg weakness
  • Slurred speech or dysarthria
  • Double vision or other vision problems
  • A headache
  • Nausea and or vomiting

Visit the American Stroke Association for more information.

Staying home after a stroke is a risk that may cost you your health — or your life. Don’t let fear keep you from seeking the care that you need.