Stroke: warning signs
Signs of stroke FAST. Recognise the signs of stroke call 000. A stroke is always a medical emergency.
Using the FAST test involves asking three simple questions:
|Face||Check their face. Has their mouth dropped?|
|Arm||Can they lift both arms?|
|Speech||Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?|
|Time||Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.|
Facial weakness, arm weakness and difficulty with speech are the most common signs of a stroke, but they are not the only signs. Other signs of stroke may include one, or a combination of:
- weakness or numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg on either or both sides of the body;
- difficulty speaking or understanding;
- dizziness, loss of balance or an unexplained fall;
- loss of vision, sudden blurring or decreased vision in one or both eyes;
- headache — usually severe and abrupt onset, or unexplained change in the pattern of headaches;
- difficulty swallowing.
The signs of stroke may occur alone or in combination and they can last a few seconds or up to 24 hours and then disappear.
When symptoms disappear within 24 hours, this episode may be a mini stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA).
If you or someone else experiences the signs of stroke, no matter how long they last, call 000 immediately.
Last Reviewed: 30/07/2013
Reproduced with kind permission from the Stroke Foundation.
1. Stroke Foundation. Signs of stroke FAST. http://strokefoundation.com.au/what-is-a-stroke/signs-of-stroke/ (accessed October 2013).
TIA: transient ischaemic attack
A TIA (transient ischaemic attack), also called a mini-stroke or temporary stroke, is when there is a temporary block in the blood supply to a part of the brain.
Stroke: signs, symptoms and treatment
A stroke occurs when a part of the brain is damaged or destroyed because it is deprived of blood, and therefore oxygen. Ischaemic stroke is the most common.
Stroke risk factors
Risk of stroke and second stroke is influenced by a number of factors. The more stroke risk factors you have, the higher your chances of having a stroke.