Skip to main content

 

Understanding Stroke Online Manual

Skip section navigation

Stroke warning signs: Call 911

Act FAST

Face — Smile. Does one side droop?

Arms — Is one side weak or numb?

Speech — Is your speech slurred? Are you unable to repeat a sentence?

Time — Call 911 if you have any symptoms.

Warning signs of stroke may last a short time and disappear. They often start when you wake up. These are signs of a serious medical condition.

If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 right away:

  • weakness - sudden weakness, numbness or paralysis in an arm, hand, leg or facial muscles, usually only on one side of the body
  • vision - sudden blurred double vision or dimness in one or both of the eyes
  • confusion - sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding language, or thinking
  • loss of balance - sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • headache - sudden severe headache ("the worst headache of your life") with no known cause.

 

Source: Allina Health Patient Education, Understanding Stroke: Information about Stroke and Recovery, fourth edition, ISBN 1-931876-13-4

First published: 02/01/2006
Last updated: 04/02/2013

Reviewed by: Allina Health Patient Education experts