Signs & Symptoms

Stroke is the #4 cause of death and a leading cause of serious long-term disability in America.

Stroke is a medical emergency. Know these warning signs of stroke and teach them to others. Every second counts:

  • FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • TIME: If you observe any of these signs,call 9-1-1 immediately.
Image provided by the Stroke Association

If you or someone with you has one or more of these signs, it’s important to act fast!

  • Immediately call 9-1-1 so an ambulance can be sent for you.
  • Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.
  • Time is critical! A clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may improve the chances of recovering from a stroke if administered within 3 hours (and up to 4.5 hours in certain eligible patients) of start of symptoms.
  • tPA is the only FDA-approved medication for the treatment of stroke.


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