Acute stroke symptoms (mnemonic)

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 5 Feb 2019

Useful mnemonics to remember the symptoms of acute stroke are:

  • FAST


  • F = face (look uneven?)
  • A = arm (drift down?)
  • S = speech (sound strange or difficulty speaking)
  • T = time (brain cells die every second)
  • B = balance (sudden loss of balance)
  • E = eye (sudden loss of vision)
  • + FAST

In one study 1, FAST alone would miss 14% of patients with acute stroke whereas BE-FAST would miss 2.6% of patients with acute stroke.

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