Recognizing Stroke & Acting FAST

You know that AFC Englewood is here for you when you have a non-life-threatening emergency or urgent medical need, but we also want to be a resource to the community, so we are ALL prepared in the event of an emergency. A recent study found that most Americans under 45 do not know how to recognize the signs of stroke, nor do they know how to react when a stroke occurs—even though a stroke can strike a person of any age.

The reality is that during a stroke, every minute matters. Acting quickly can mean the difference between life and death—or if you’ll still feel like yourself when you’re discharged.

So, how can you tell if someone is having a stroke? Use the FAST test:

Face Drooping
During a stroke, one side of the face often sags downward or feels numb. Ask the person to smile—if their smile is lopsided or uneven, that indicates stroke.

Arm Weakness
Ask the person to raise both arms. If one arm drifts downward and seems suddenly weak, that’s another sign.

Speech Difficulty
Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The grass is green.” If they can’t repeat the sentence without slurring their speech or other difficulty, that’s a stroke sign.

Time to Call 9-1-1
A person who exhibits any of these symptoms needs an ambulance immediately, so note the time and call 9-1-1 without hesitation—even if the symptoms go away.

Following this simple test can help beat confusion to save time and preserve brain function, so be sure to share this information with everyone you know!