Is it a Stroke? Check these Signs FAST

Stroke Signs & Symptoms

Only one in four people recognizes all the signs of stroke. To increase knowledge of stroke, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health developed a comprehensive public education campaign on stroke in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Khmer. The Stroke Heroes Act FAST campaign teaches the signs and symptoms of stroke and stresses the need for immediate action.

FAST Stands for Face, Arm, Speech, and Time

  • Face – Does the face look a little bit uneven?
    CHECK: Ask the person to smile.
  • Arm – Does one arm drift down?
    CHECK: Ask the person to raise both arms, notice if one unintentionally drifts downward.
  • Speech – Does their speech sound strange?
    CHECK: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase, notice if they repeat it correctly or if the words are confused or misspoken.
  • Time – If you observe any of these symptoms call 9-1-1 immediately!
    CHECK: Recognizing these symptoms and getting the person treatment as soon as possible could prevent further damage and mean a faster recovery for your loved one.

CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms!


This information is provided by the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and Control within the Department of Public Health.