Identifying stroke

The quicker someone is treated for stroke, the better chances they have of making a good recovery. That’s why international and national guidelines, as well as the Stroke Action Plan for Europe, call for there to be public information campaigns to improve recognition of the main stroke symptoms.  (

One of the most recognised is the FAST campaign – the acronym stands for Face, Arms, Speech and Time.

Facial weakness Can the person smile? Has their mouth or an eye drooped?

Arm weakness Can the person use both arms?

Speech problems Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

Time – If the answer is ‘YES’ to any of these signs, call for emergency medical help.

 There are different version of this across Europe. Members of the public are encouraged to call the emergency services if they suspect someone is having a stroke.  (LINK to 2 or 3 national campaigns).