When a stroke happens, time is key. Getting help faster can minimize the damage caused by one. Just how can one quickly recognize a stroke? The answer is to think FAST.

F: Face. Ask the person who may be having a stroke to smile. If one side drops, that is a sign.

A: Arms. Ask the person to lift both arms up. If one arm drifts downwards involuntarily, that is a sign.

S: Speech. Ask the person to repeat some simple phrases. Slurred or strange speech is a sign.

T: Time. Observing any of these signs is a cause to call 911 immediately.

Others also like to add in the following observations to make the phrase BE FAST.

B: Balance. Is the person’s balance alright?

E: Eyes. Is the person experiencing sudden blurred or double vision or any other vision troubles?

Whether FAST or BE FAST, any of the above symptoms warrant a visit to the emergency room as quickly as possible.

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