Man in a hospital bed

In the United States, stroke affects more than 750,000 people each year. It’s the leading cause of adult disability and the fifth leading cause of death.

It’s important for stroke victims to receive immediate care. When a stroke occurs, two million brain cells are lost every minute. People suffering from a stroke have a better chance of recovering when treated early to restore blood flow.

Fortunately, we can all BE FAST when it comes to spotting stroke warning signs and getting victims the care they need.

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Don’t Delay Stroke Treatment

If you think you are suffering from a stroke, it’s important to seek medical care right away.

A study by the UPMC Stroke Institute found the number of people going to the hospital for stroke treatment is down 40% since the coronavirus pandemic began compared to previous years.

Even when stay-at-home orders are in place due to COVID-19, doctors say patients should seek immediate care if they suspect they are having a stroke.

How Can You BE FAST?

A stroke requires immediate attention. When you recognize the signs of a stroke and take quick action, victims have a better chance of recovery. Remember this acronym so you can recognize the warning signs: BE FAST.

Learn More About UPMC Stroke Institute


National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP). Stroke Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Link

About UPMC

A $21 billion health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates more than 90,000 employees, 40 hospitals, 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a 3.8 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. In the most recent fiscal year, UPMC contributed $1.4 billion in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution, and paid more than $500 million in federal, state, and local taxes. Working in close collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC shares its clinical, managerial, and technological skills worldwide through its innovation and commercialization arm, UPMC Enterprises, and through UPMC International. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside on its annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. For more information, go to