A stroke can happen at any time; one occurs every 5 minutes in the UK and can happen to anyone of any age. The FAST test is the best way to spot the signs:
Face – Can they smile? Has their face fallen on one side?
Arms – Can they raise both arms and keep them there?
Speech problems – Can they speak clearly and understand what you say? Is their speech slurred?
Time – If you see any of these three signs, it’s time to call 999
This test spots the three most common symptoms of a stroke, but other signs include sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, difficulty finding words or speaking clearly, sudden blurred vision or sight loss in one or both eyes, sudden memory loss, confusion or dizziness, or a sudden severe headache.
A stroke is a medical emergency. There is no way of knowing when the symptoms will pass, so the quicker someone received help, the better.
The Stroke Association website has free information about spotting and supporting a stroke, including a free FAST card which can be kept in your purse or wallet. Click here to download it and to find more resources.