Everyone should know the warning signs of a stroke. This “Act F.A.S.T.” checklist can help:

Face Drooping: Is one side of the person’s face drooping or numb?

Arm weakness: Is the person experiencing weakness or numbness in one arm? Have the person raise both arms. Does one drift downward?

Speech trouble: Is speech suddenly slurred or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Can he or she repeat it back?

Time to call 9-1-1: If any of these symptoms are present, dial 9-1-1 immediately and make note of the time so you can report when the symptoms began. Call 9-1-1 even if the symptoms go away.

Some people call stroke a “brain attack.” A stroke happens when a blood vessel to the brain is blocked by a clot or bursts. Without blood flowing to the brain, it will begin to die.

If someone has a stroke because of a clot, doctors might be able to stop the damage, but the patient must get care quickly at a hospital that treats strokes--which is why it is vital to call for emergency help immediately.

Reduce your stroke risk:

  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, most days

MUSC is certified to give emergency treatment for strokes. It is also one of the very best hospitals in the country to get care after a stroke.

Learn more about strokes and MUSC’s Comprehensive Stroke Center.