During a stroke every second counts. B.E. F.A.S.T.! Call 911 if you see and of the stroke symptoms below:
- B - Balance. Is there a sudden loss of balance or coordination?
(To check, ask the person to walk in a straight line or touch their finger to their nose.)
- E - Eyes. Are there sudden vision changes?
(To check, ask if the person has double vision or cannot see out of one eye.)
- F - Face. Does one side of the face droop?
(To check, ask the person to smile.)
- A - Arm. Does one arm drift downward?
(To check, ask the person to raise both arms.)
- S - Speech. Are the words slurred? Is speech confused?(To check, ask the person to repeat a sentence.)
- T - Time. What time did the symptoms begin? When was the person last seen looking or acting normally?
What to do
- Call 911 and check the time. Write down the exact time symptoms began. Give this information to the paramedics.
Clinical Definition of Stroke
A stroke, also called a brain attack, happens when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly interrupted. Without oxygen, nerve cells in the affected area of the brain can't work and die within minutes. When nerve cells can't work, the part of the body they control can't work either. Stroke is our nation's third leading cause of death and a leading cause of severe, long-term disability.
The most common cause of stroke is blockage in one or both of the carotid arteries, which are the main arteries leading to the brain. Blockage can occur from buildup of fatty plaque in the artery walls (atherosclerosis) or from a blood clot. A less common cause of stroke is a rupture (break) in a blood vessel leading to the brain.
Stroke in Depth
Learn more about from Intermountain's Patient Education Library:
Treatments that Lower Stroke Risk
Stroke treatment depends on the type of stroke that has occurred and your underlying heart condition(s). Your doctors will discuss your treatment options with you. Possible treatments for stroke include:
Services and Programs
Services and programs at Intermountain Heart Institute for stroke patients:
The Heart Institute currently has one or more clinical trials that is investigating stroke prevention for patients with atrial fibrillation. Learn more about our clinical trials for stroke.