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What should I do if someone is having a stroke?

If you think someone is having a stroke, remember the acronym FAST, which stands for "Face, Arms, Speech and Time to call 911.” Calling 911 allows emergency medical services (EMS) to assess the patient for stroke, provide treatment and transport him or her to the nearest stroke center.

If you feel like you are having any stroke symptoms yourself, it's crucial to call 911 immediately; don't wait for the symptoms to get better or sleep them off. Many stroke treatments are time-sensitive, so don't delay.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider.

The first thing you should do after a stroke is call 9-1-1. You should NOT take an aspirin.

Fast treatment is so important. The most important thing to do if someone is having a stroke is to call 911.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do this simple test:

F — FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A — ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S — SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T — TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

Signs of stroke include a drooping face, arm weakness and slurred speech. If you suspect someone is having a stroke, call 9-1-1. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.