There is still confusion as to whether a current “email forwarding” fad: “Ask the person to stick out their tongue and see if it is crooked,” is the best way to determine if someone has had a stroke? The tongue test leaves room for multiple interpretations of the results. How crooked is crooked? How far to one side does the tongue have to go before it can be a clear sign of stroke? There are too many variables. What’s more, it’s entirely possible for someone to who has had stroke and be able to stick out their tongue perfectly.
Our answer: Use F.A.S.T. (face, arms, speech, time) FAST does not cover every possible symptom of stroke. However, it is easy to remember and it is estimated that about 8 or 9 in 10 people with a stroke will have one or more FAST symptoms.
FACE – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
ARMS – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SPEECH– Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can the person repeat the sentence correctly?
TIME – If the person shows any symptoms, time is important. Call 9-1-1 immediately