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Stroke Signs and Symptoms

Warning signs of stroke

Warning signs of stroke

Signs of stroke come on suddenly. The acronym BEFAST can help you remember the signs of a stroke. BEFAST stands for:

  • B is for balance — sudden loss of balance or coordination
  • E is for eyes — sudden blurred, double, or loss of vision
  • F is for face drooping — one side of the person’s face droops or is numb
  • A is for arm weakness — one of the person’s arms is weak, numb or doesn’t move at all
  • S is for speech difficulty — the person slurs or has difficulty forming words
  • T is for time to call 911 — if the person shows any of these symptoms
An infographic detailing the BEFAST acronym to help us remember the signs of  a stroke.

Other signs of stroke

Remembering the acronym BEFAST may help you identify a stroke, but not everyone has the same symptoms.

What to do about stroke warning signs

Call 9-1-1 immediately if a person shows any stroke symptoms, even if the symptoms go away. Tell the 9-1-1- operator, “I think this is a stroke” to help get you to the hospital immediately. Time is very important. The longer it takes to get help, the more damage is done to the brain.

Stroke is a sudden disruption in blood flow to the brain. Because stroke requires rapid assessment and treatment, time is critical to prevent permanent brain damage and long-term disability. In some cases, stroke may be fatal. Learn more about the causes and types of stroke.

Learn what to expect from stroke diagnosis and treatment.