You can use the letters in FAST to help you spot a stroke:
- F – Face drooping
- A – Arm weakness
- S – Speech difficulty, slurred speech
- T – Time is critical, call 000 immediately.
A stroke is a medical emergency, so you must also think and act FAST.
Getting to hospital as quickly as possible is vital when faced with a potential stroke, and will help improve the prospect of recovery.
Beyond FAST, some other signs to look out for include:
- 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 walking difficulty, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
Sometimes the signs disappear within a short time, such as a few minutes. When this happens, it may be a transient ischaemic attack (TIA). After a TIA, your risk of stroke is higher. A TIA is a warning that you may have a stroke and an opportunity to prevent this from happening.
Call 000 immediately if you suspect a loved one is having a stroke or TIA. The longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of disability and brain damage.