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Identifying a Stroke F.A.S.T

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Identifying a Stroke F.A.S.T

Remember to Act F.A.S.T. When Suspecting a Stroke

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke, and every 4 minutes, someone dies from one. With such shockingly high statistics, it's important to know the warning signs and to act F.A.S.T.!

Signs & Symptoms of a Stroke

If you suspect that someone is experiencing a stroke, it is important to act F.A.S.T. to get the person the treatment they need. If a patient is accurately diagnosed and treated within the first 3 hours of having an attack, they are more likely to have successful treatment without serious complications.

Look out for these warning signs:


When an individual is suffering from a stroke, it is normal for them to experience a loss of balance or feeling dizzy. This may also be accompanied by a sudden and severe headache.


It is also typical for those suffering from a stroke to experience impaired vision affecting one or both eyes. Ask the person how many fingers you’re holding up to see if their vision is being affected.

Facial Drooping

When suffering from a stroke, it is common for a person's face to become slack, especially on one side. Ask the person to smile to see if there are any noticeable changes.

Arm Weakness

It is also common to experience weakness or numbness in the arms, typically affecting one more than the other. Ask the affected individual to raise their arms to see if one arm seems weaker than the other.

Speech Changes

Slurred speech is also common when an individual is experiencing a stroke. As you continue talking to the affected person, see if their speech seems slurred, slow, or otherwise strange.


If you notice one or several of these signs, you must dial 9-1-1 immediately. Also, be sure to keep a note of when you first noticed the above symptoms. This information can help medical personnel accurately diagnose the patient and administer life-saving treatment.

Other Signs & Symptoms

Some other signs and symptoms that suggest that you or someone around is having a stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness in the face of extremities, especially on one side.
  • Sudden confusion or trouble processing speech.

Acute Stroke Care in Lancaster, CA

At Antelope Valley Medical Center, we understand that patients suffering from a stroke require a quick response and accurate diagnosis in the short window following an attack. Antelope Valley Medical Center’s stroke response team has a proven track record for demonstrating extraordinary efficiency and expertise in stroke care.


With Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification from The Joint Commission and the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency, AVMC is committed to providing timely care to quickly treat acute stroke victims.

Call (661) 949-5000 or visit our dedicated stroke care page for more information.