BE FAST to recognize signs of stroke

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 someone who is having a stroke to receive immediate care. When a stroke occurs, 2 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.


When a stroke happens, it's important to take these steps. Learn more.

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Don’t Delay Stroke Treatment

A study by the UPMC Stroke Institute found that the number of people going to the hospital for stroke treatment was down 40% since the COVID-19 pandemic began compared to previous years.

Doctors say patients should seek immediate care if they suspect they are having a stroke — every second counts.

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.

Balance–Sudden loss of balance

Eyes–Sudden double vision or vison loss

Face–One side drooping

Arms–One arm weak or numb


Time–BE FAST:  CALL 911!

Get Stroke Treatment Immediately

If you think you are having a stroke, it’s important to seek medical care right away. Call 911.

Learn More About UPMC Stroke Institute

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .

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

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. We are dedicated to providing Life Changing Medicine to our communities.