A stroke happens when the flow of blood to part of the brain is
cut off. This is normally due to a clot in a blood vessel or a
rupture which stops the flow of blood getting to the brain.
The brain needs the oxygen in the blood to work properly. Lack
of oxygen causes damage to the brain cells. The long-term effects
of a stroke depend on which part of the brain is affected and how
large an area is damaged.
A stroke (or brain attack) is a medical emergency - you need to
What to look for - Stroke
If you think someone is having a stroke, check the three main
symptoms using the FAST test:
Face ‒ look at
their face and ask them to smile. Are they only able to smile
on one side of their mouth? If yes, this is not normal.
Arms ‒ ask
them to raise both arms. Are they only able to lift one arm? If
yes, this is not normal.
‒ ask them to speak. Are they struggling to speak
clearly? If yes, this is not normal.
Time ‒ if the
answer to any of these three questions is yes, then it is time to
call 999 or 112 for medical help and say you think the casualty is
having a stroke.
What you need to do - Stroke
• While you wait for help to arrive, keep them comfortable
and supported. If they’re responsive then you can help them
into a comfortable position
• Keep checking their breathing, pulse and level of
response. Don’t give them anything to eat or drink because it could
be difficult for them to swallow so they might choke.