A stroke is a medical emergency. If you, or someone else, shows any signs of having a stroke you need to seek immediate medical attention.
The FAST test can help you to recognise some of the most common symptoms of a stroke:
- 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?
- Time to call 999.
If a person fails any one of these tests, get help immediately by dialling 999.
Other symptoms of stroke
Symptoms of stroke usually come on suddenly. Other symptoms can include:
- sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- difficulty finding words
- sudden blurred vision or loss of sight
- sudden confusion, dizziness or unsteadiness
- a sudden, severe headache.
Don't ignore a TIA
A transient ischeamic attack or TIA is similar to a stroke but the symptoms are temporary – usually lasting from a few minutes up to 24 hours. A TIA is serious and should not be ignored.
If you experience any of the symptoms desrcibed above, even for a short amount of time, you must call 999.