Published: 23 Jan 2017
The F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) is a simple test to help people identify the most common signs of a stroke, and to emphasise the importance of acting quickly by calling 999. F.A.S.T. teaches people what to look out for in themselves and in others:
Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
Speech – is their speech slurred?
Time to call 999
There are some other symptoms that people should be aware of as these may occasionally be due to stroke. These include:
Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes
Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
Sudden memory loss or confusion
Sudden dizziness, unsteadiness or a sudden fall, especially with any of the other symptoms
Acting F.A.S.T. as soon as stroke symptoms present themselves can not only save lives but potentially limit long-term effects. A stroke is a ‘brain attack’, caused by a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. It’s a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. So recognising the signs of stroke and calling 999 for an ambulance is crucial
Approximately 110,000 people have a stroke each year in England. It is the third largest cause of death, and the largest cause of complex disability; over half of all stroke survivors are left with a disability.
The sooner somebody who is having a stroke gets urgent medical attention, the better their chances of a good recovery.
One of the main objectives of the campaign is get people who witness someone showing stroke symptoms to overcome any initial reluctance to call. They are being asked to ‘Make the Call’ and dial 999. A large print leaflet and an easy read leaflet are available.
Act FAST. Make the Call. Dial 999.
Search ‘Act FAST’ for more information