Brain & Memory | Prevention
September 13, 2015

How acting F.A.S.T. could save a stroke victim’s life


Confusion? Slurred speech? Numbness? Time matters in stroke treatment.


09_21 Stroke Stat


Stroke is responsible for 5 percent of Tennessee deaths each year, according to the American Heart Association. But the number of lives this dangerous condition affects is so much higher.

With stroke, time is truly of the essence. Patients who receive one key treatment, the clot-busting drug t-PA (tissue plasminogen activator), are at least 55 percent more likely to leave the hospital after three months with little to no disability, according to the Stroke Awareness Foundation. The catch: t-PA must be administered within three hours of the start of the stroke, and the American Stroke Association estimates only 3 percent to 5 percent of stroke patients reach the hospital within that time frame.

Being prepared could save lives. Know the signs of stroke using the F.A.S.T. acronym.

  • Face: Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arm: Is one arm or leg weak or numb?
  • Speech: Is speech slurred or strange?
  • Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.


If you or someone you know exhibits these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Learn more medical advances in stroke care at the Vanderbilt Stroke Center, which tackles the most complex stroke cases in the South

9 thoughts on “How acting F.A.S.T. could save a stroke victim’s life”

  1. Antoinette Bradley says:

    Dr Froehler what an amazing physician…my mom got submitted on the morning of May 1 VUMC and Dr Froehler came to tell me what happened to her which I know she had a stroke but I didn’t know the exact detail..He told me about this very procedure and I told him to go ahead and fix her..well that’s just what he did
    She left the hospital 5 days later and she walked that same day for several miles …today a little over a year ago she absolutely is in magnificent condition.
    Me and her went to thank Dr Froehler in March this year…Dr Froehler made his impression on this family forever…Thanks again Vanderbilt and Dr Michael Froehler..we love ya all…

    1. My Southern Health says:

      Thank you for sharing, Antoinette, and for the kind words for Dr. Froehler. We’re so glad your mother is doing so magnificently! – Linda

  2. Debra Cordell says:

    What about extreme dizziness

  3. Rachael D Myers says:

    My mom is very slow moving and not acting right. Her hand was shaking and she was smoking on a cigarette not lit. Whar is wrong with her?

    1. Maura Ammenheuser says:

      Hi, Rachael. These symptoms could mean a lot of different things, and we cannot give medical advice through this page. Your mother should see her primary care doctor as a start. If that doctor feels she needs a specialist, he/she can recommend the right one and set up a referral. We wish your mom well.

  4. Jo Russo-Tiesse says:

    I’ve had an almost unbearable intermittent pain in my right temple today and I don’t know whether it’s something to worry about.

    1. Maura Ammenheuser says:

      Hi, Jo. We can’t diagnose anything via this blog post, but we hope you’re feeling better today. If you have concerns, you should call your doctor.

  5. Donna Burgess says:

    Would you shake all over and faint? All my limbs go numb

    1. Maura Ammenheuser says:

      Hi, Donna. We can’t offer a diagnosis through this blog. If you’re having these symptoms frequently, you should talk to your doctor.

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