Skip to content

Search Prisma Health

Looking for a doctor? Try our Find a doctor search.

Get COVID-19 updates | COVID-19 Vaccine

Stroke Signs and Symptoms

At Prisma Health, we want you to know the symptoms of a stroke. Strokes appear suddenly and require treatment as quickly as possible.

Any of the following can be a sign of stroke – and they do not all have to happen at once:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with an unknown cause.


If you see any of these warning signs, BE FAST:

B – Balance off /dizziness

Ask the person if they are experiencing a sudden loss of balance or coordination.

E – Eyes

Ask the person if they have experienced sudden blurred vision, double vision or sudden, persistent vision trouble.

F – Face drooping

Ask the person to smile. If the face droops on one side, that is a sign of a stroke.

A – Arm weakness

Ask the person to raise both arms. If they cannot hold one arm up, that is a sign of a stroke.

S – Speech difficulty

Ask the person to say a few easy words. If they talk like they are drunk (slurred speech) or you cannot understand what they are trying to say, that is a sign of a stroke.

T – Time to call 911

Time is very important. The sooner you get to the hospital, the better your chances are for improving or getting better. If you wait too long, you may get worse or may not get better.

Call 911 immediately and ask to be taken to the closest Primary Stroke Center.

The ambulance will call the hospital and tell them your signs. The stroke team will be ready to care for you when you arrive.

Frequently asked questions about strokes