6 Signs Someone Is Having A Stroke And What Actions To Take

A stroke can cause serious damage by interrupting the blood supply to the brain2. Make sure to know these classic stroke symptoms so you can take action quickly:

1. Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes

2. Weakness or numbness on one side of the body, including the face

3. Difficulty speaking

4. Sudden disorientation, confusion or memory loss

5. Dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination

6. A severe headache that comes on suddenly with no apparent cause

The National Stroke Association has devised the FAST checklist (see "Act FAST") to help determine whether a person is having a stroke3: If the answer to any of the questions below is yes, there's a high probability that the person is having a stroke.

(F)ace: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

(A)rms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

(S)peech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Does he or she fail to repeat the sentence correctly?

(T)ime: If the answer to any of these questions is yes, time is important. Call 911 or get to the hospital fast. Brain cells are dying. If possible, take note of the time when the symptoms appeared and give a description of the symptoms to the emergency responders.