Signs of Stroke

Time Saved is Brain Saved

When you recognize these signs of a stroke, act FAST!

  • Face: Does the face look uneven? Does one side droop oddly? Ask him to smile.
  • Arms: Does one arm drift down? Ask him to raise both arms.
  • Speech: Does the speech sound strange? Ask her to repeat a phrase.
  • Time: DON'T WASTE IT! Call 911 at any sign of stroke and get to the nearest hospital.

Did you know that most people ignore the first signs of a stroke?

Most people ignore early warning signs like loss of balance, inability to move an arm or loss of coherent speech because there is often no pain involved.

Here is what to look for:

  • Sudden weakness on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing.
  • Sudden trouble walking or loss of balance.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.


Less common stroke symptoms:

  • Sudden nausea, fever and vomiting distinguished from a viral illness by the speed of onset (minutes or hours vs. several days)
  • Brief loss of consciousness or period of decreased consciousness (fainting, confusion, convulsions or coma)

Remember: "Time saved is brain saved!"

If you are in the Syracuse region, insist on Upstate University Hospital's Stroke Center. It's not only the first NYS Designated Stroke Center, it's also a Gold Plus Stroke Center accredited by the American Heart and Stroke Associations. And the national health-care rating organization HealthGrades® has given the Upstate Stroke Center "5 Stars" two years in a row!

If you're not in the Syracuse region, your ambulance driver will take you to the nearest hospital either for immediate treatment or to stabilize you so you can be transferred to an appropriate treatment center.

Note: You can insist that your ambulance driver take you to a specific hospital (like Upstate's Stroke Center) even if that hospital is closed to other emergencies.