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