Advocate Christ Medical Center is committed to educating the public about the signs of stroke by promoting the F.A.S.T. evaluation, based on the Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale.
F.A.S.T. is a highly effective checklist to determine if someone is having a stroke.
- Face: Is one side of the face drooping down? Normally, both sides of the face move equally. If is appears that the person's face is drooping, asking the person to smile will quickly reveal if the two sides of the face are uneven.
- Arm: Does one arm drift down? For most people, both arms will move equally or not at all. The person should be asked to raise both arms to determine if there is a significant deficit on one side.
- Speech: Is speech slurred or confusing; is the person unable to speak? Ask the person to repeat a phrase if the person's speech sounds strange.
- Time: Time is critical. Call 911 at any sign of stroke. With every second of a stroke, brain cells die. The patient can prevent or limit disabilities by immediately going to the emergency room.