B.E. F.A.S.T.

Additional Information


Stroke is a sudden disorder of the blood supply to the brain, which can cause irreversible damage and disability. 

Time is critical when treating strokes.  It is always important to identify when the symptoms started.  Sometimes treatment may cause harm if given too late. Because treatment is time sensitive and there are many causes of stroke, always ask to be treated at a certified stroke treatment center.

B.E. F.A.S.T. is a way of thinking about signs of stroke. It is also meant to remind us to act quickly when stroke is suspected.  

Stroke is an emergency. If stroke is suspected, call 911!

B.E. F.A.S.T.

B: Balance-- sudden loss  of balance, staggering gait, severe vertigo

E: Eyes-- sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, onset of double vision

F: Face-- uneven or drooping face, drooling, ask the patient to smile

A: Arm (leg)-- loss of strength or sensation on one side of the body in the arm and/or leg

S: Speech-- slurring of speech, difficulty  saying words or understanding what is being said, sudden confusion

T: Terrible headache (time*)-- very severe headache which has maximum intensity within seconds to a minute

* Time of symptom onset and last known well times are important when determining what treatment is appropriate for an individual's stroke, particularly since treatment is time limited.  Time is not a symptom or sign of stroke.  Traditionally, Time was used for the "T" in the FAST and BEFAST acronyms for stroke awareness. Since terrible headache can be a symptom of stroke this is substituted.  However, as the acronym B.E. F.A.S.T. suggests, acting quickly is of critical importance after stroke is suspected. Knowing the symptom onset time or time when last well will have an impact on what treatments can be offered safely.   

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