How to Detect a Stroke Early

How to Detect a Stroke Early?

Early detection of a stroke minimises the disabling effects. If you identify warning signs quickly, a stroke victim can get to the healthcare institution and receive treatments soon. It will improve their quality of life remarkably.

Symptoms of a stroke

  • Sudden weakness or numbness in the legs, arms, or face, particularly involving one side of the victim’s body.
  • Sudden difficulty speaking, understanding, or slurred speech
  • Sudden impairment of vision involving one or both eyes
  • Sudden confusion or loss of consciousness
  • Sudden loss of coordination or balance, dizziness, or difficulty walking
  • Sudden severe headache without an apparent cause

You can use a very simple test known as ‘FAST’ to recognise a stroke early.


  • Face – Ask the victim to smile and stick out the tongue. Does a side of the victim’s face droop or numb? Does the tongue go to a side or the other?
  • Arm – Ask the victim to raise both arms. Is one numb, weak, or does it move downward?
  • Speech – Ask the victim to repeat a simple sentence. Is the victim unable to speak or understand? Are his or her words slurred?
  • Time – If the victim has any of above symptoms, even if their symptoms disappear, you should act immediately because, time is a critical factor. Call for help and get the victim to the hospital as soon as possible.


(Photo courtesy: GreenFlames09)


Related Links:

How to Prevent a Stroke?
Stroke and Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)
Stroke & TIA: Clinical Assessment
How to Manage a Stroke?
Management of Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)


About the author
Dr. Nalaka Priyantha is the founder and author of 'DRN Health'. He currently works at the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka as a senior medical officer. He is blogging about healthy living since 2012.
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