You might have spotted FAST on the TV or online during March 2014. The Stroke Association is working with Public Health England to make sure as many people as possible know to Act FAST to save a life. Watch Public Health England's advert below:
The FAST test - FACE, ARMS, SPEECH, TIME – identifies the most common symptoms of a stroke or TIA in three easy to recognise categories.
Facial weakness: Can the person smile? Has their face fallen on one side?
Arm weakness: Can the person raise both arms and keep them there?
Speech problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say? Is their speech slurred?
If you see any one of these three signs, it’s TIME to call 999. Stroke is always a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention.
Recognising the signs of stroke and calling 999 for an ambulance is crucial. The quicker a patient arrives at a specialist stroke unit, the quicker they will receive appropriate treatment and the more likely they are to make a better recovery. If you suspect a stroke, always dial 999.
TIA or transient ischaemic attack
A TIA or transient ischaemic attack (also known as a mini-stroke) is the same as a stroke, except that the symptoms last for a short amount of time and no longer than 24 hours. If you, or someone else, show any of the signs of stroke you must call 999. There is no way of knowing whether you are having a TIA or a stroke when the symptoms first start, so you need to seek immediate medical help. Just like stroke, a TIA is a medical emergency. If you think you have had a TIA and have not sought medical attention see your GP urgently.
More from the Stroke Association
- Read our factsheets about stroke and TIA (also known as a mini-stroke)
- Share your FAST story with our online stroke community on Facebook and Twitter
- More from NHS Choices about FAST
- How Stroke Association-funded research brought FAST to national attention
We rely upon donations to allow us to continue funding vital research into stroke. By making a donation today, you will help us carry on supporting research that saves lives.