Sometimes, stroke assessments can come a bit too late, and knowing the warning signs of a stroke can keep you safer in the event of one. Strokes can be characterized by sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, and sudden severe headache with no known cause.
In the event of a stroke, be prepared to act FAST.
Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.