Stroke Symptoms and Signs
Time is critical in stopping stroke damage. If a stroke victim seeks treatment in an Emergency Room within the first 3 hours after the onset of stroke symptoms, the patient may be a candidate for life-saving drug therapies that stop a stroke in its tracks, giving the patient the best chance of avoiding brain damage and its long-term effects.
If you suspect you or a loved one are experiencing a stroke, dial 9-1-1 immediately.
If you are over 55, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, smoke, or are an African American, you are at risk for a stroke.
Stroke warning signs are:
- Sudden blurred or altered vision
- Weakness (usually on one side)
- Numbness (usually on one side)
- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
- Dizziness, imbalance
You can reduce your chances of suffering a stroke by remembering the 3Rs:
- Reduce risk
- Recognize stroke symptoms early
- Respond by calling 911 and seeking emergency treatment within the first 3 hours
If you think someone is having a stroke is showing stroke symptoms, call 911 FAST:
- F=FACE. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face drop?
- A=ARM. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- S=SPEECH. Ask the person to speak a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
- T=TIME to call 911. If you observe any of these signs call 911 or get to the nearest hospital.
Learn more about the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Wake Forest Baptist Health.