Stroke Warning Signs

Minutes matter in stroke care. A person who receives emergency care within 60 minutes has a significantly better chance of survival and recovery. Although stroke is the third leading cause of death, many people are unaware of the warning signs. Fewer than 5 percent of people make it to a hospital in time to receive optimal care.

Watch for:

  • Sudden weakness and/or numbness of the face, arm or leg—especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding others
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
  • Symptoms may go away and return

Call 911 immediately if you or someone is experiencing warning signs of a stroke.


Use this acronym to check for signs of stroke:

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?
Slur. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred?
Time. If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important. Call 911 immediately.