First aid tips – using the FAST guide to identify strokes

A stroke can be one of the most dangerous medical emergencies, especially if it isn’t spotted early. As a rule, the earlier a stroke can be detected and treated, the more likely the chances of recovery for the affected person.

To learn in-depth information and advice for recognising strokes and providing assistance to someone who has had a stroke, it is recommended to take a full first aid training course. For now, simply remember the FAST guide:

  • F is for…facial weakness. You should look for unevenness in the person’s face. If their eyes or mouth are drooping on one side, or if they can’t smile evenly, they may be having a stroke.
  • A is for…arm weakness. If the person cannot raise both arms to the level of their head, or at all, the signs point to a stroke.
  • S is for…speech problems. Ask the person some basic questions and see if they can understand you and speak clearly in response.
  • T is for…time to call 999. If a person has any of the above symptoms, it’s time to call for emergency medical help. You should do this as quickly as possible.