Warning signs of a stroke

A stroke, sometimes called a “brain attack,” is a serious medical condition and can lead to long-term disabilities. It is caused when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Over 600,000 Americans suffer from strokes each year.

Strokes may be prevented by keeping blood pressure and cholesterol low, not smoking, eating healthy, exercising regularly and if you have diabetes, keeping it under control.

If you are having a stroke you may experience these warning signs:

  • Sudden numbness or paralysis in your arm, leg or face, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, slurred speech or inability to talk
  • Sudden trouble seeing out of one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Every minute counts when it comes to treating a stroke patient. If you think you or someone else is having a stroke, think FAST:


When the person smiles, does one side of the face droop?


Is one arm dropping when they lift both arms?


Does the personal have difficulty speaking? Is their speech slurred?


Act quickly. If you or someone you know is having a stroke, call 911 immediately.

It is important for patients to get to the hospital within 60 minutes, and evaluated and treated within three hours.

Learn more about the Providence Stroke Center and how you can prevent a stroke.