If someone is having a stroke you need to act FAST. Getting treatment quickly could mean the difference between life and death.

Quick help

  • Check for warning signs of a stroke using the F.A.S.T. guide. (See below.) 

  • If any warning sign from the F.A.S.T. guide is present, you should assume the person is having a stroke. 
  • If you think someone is having a stroke call 111 and ask for an ambulance. 



Face: Look at their face – their mouth or eye may be droopy and they can’t smile evenly.

Arms: The person may have a tingling feeling down one side of their body or an arm may be numb or weak.  Ask the person to squeeze your hands. Look for one squeeze being weaker than the other. 

Speech: Ask the person to repeat something you say to them. They may not be able to speak clearly, or understand what you’re saying to them.

Time: Act quickly - the person must get treatment as soon as possible.


What else to look for

Blurred vision: The person may be seeing double or things might look blurry. 

Loss of balance: The person is unsteady when they try to stand, or they seem clumsy. 

Passing out: The person may become unresponsive. 

Headache: The person suddenly gets a bad headache.


If you suspect someone is having a stroke, call 111 now.  


How you can help

  • Take action: Always call 111 for an ambulance if you think the person is having a stroke.
  • If the person is unresponsive: If they are breathing normally, put them on their side in a supported position (the recovery position), while you wait for an ambulance.

  • If the person is awake: Help them into a position that’s most comfortable for them. Place a blanket or clothes over them to keep them warm while you wait for an ambulance. 


If you have a person in urgent need of medical attention, call 111 now.  



Take a First Aid CourseBuy a St John first aid KitBuy the St John first aid BookTXT 111