Spot the Signs of a Stroke (The F-A-S-T Method)


Fast action during a stroke can be the difference between life and death. Fortunately, there are many stroke warning signs. To help you remember the signs and how to respond, just use the word "FAST." That's F-A-S-T.

F (Face drooping)

"F" stands for "Face drooping." A stroke will often cause one side of the face to droop. You may be able to see this more clearly if you ask the person to smile. Their smile may look lopsided.

A (Arm weakness)

"A" stands for "Arm weakness." Check to see if one arm is weak or numb. Ask the person to raise both arms. Watch to see if one begins to drift back down.

S (Speech difficulty)

"S" stands for "Speech difficulty." Can the person speak? Are they hard to understand? Are they slurring their words? Ask them to repeat a simple sentence so you can hear if they are having trouble.

T (Time to call for help)

"T" stands for "Time to call." If the person is showing any signs of face drooping, arm weakness or speech difficulty, it's time to call for help. Even if you're unsure, call for emergency medical help. Say, "I think this is a stroke." Do not delay, because the person needs to get to the hospital immediately. Also, note the time when you saw the first symptoms. That can be helpful for first responders.


By acting quickly, you can help prevent severe disability. You may save a life.