A Memory Aid for Stroke First Aid – “F.A.S.T.”

Some of the most important items in your First Aid kit* are mental tricks. Practicing the ability to stay calm and rational will aid you in any emergency.

Here is a new memory trick to help you save a life if you suspect someone near you is having a stroke. Response time is extremely important with a stroke, and a delay can mean the difference between full recovery and severe brain damage.

Often people will have a stroke and not realize it. Symptoms can develop suddenly and unexpectedly. You should suspect someone is having a stroke if they exhibit signs of sudden numbness, weakness, paralysis, confusion, vision problems, difficulties walking, or a splitting headache.

The faster you can provide medical intervention, the better you make their odds for completely reversing the stroke symptoms. A stroke can affect senses, speech, behavior, thoughts, memory and mobility.

F.A.S.T. — How To Tell If Someone’s Having A Stroke — F.A.S.T.

Remember the Memory Aid “FAST” because time loss means brain loss.

  • F (Face) Ask them to Smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • A (Arms) Ask them to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S (Speech) Ask them to repeat a sentence. Are their words slurred?
  • T (Tongue) Ask them to stick out their tongue. Does it deviate from the middle?

If any of these symptoms are present, time is essential. Call 911 immediately.

* Don’t have a First Aid kit yet? Here’s a list recommended by Dr. Hinderberger to build your own. Set aside your next free weekend and go shopping to create several of these kits for your work, home, car, and other locations you frequent. Tape a copy of this “F.A.S.T.” memory tip to the inside lid of your kit! Put one in your wallet!

Good First Aid Kit here: http://life.familyeducation.com/emergency/first-aid/48239.html

Make sure all your family members and co-workers know the locations of your First Aid kits, and remember to refresh and replenish them regularly.



Peter Hinderberger, M.D., Ph.D., DIHom practices at Ruscombe. The mission of his practice is to promote optimal wellbeing by providing health care through an integrated approach, combining conventional and complementary therapies, which include Anthroposophic medicine, homeopathy, and salutogenesis.

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