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Is It a Stroke? Spot the Signs FAST

When it comes to stroke, the more quickly you get treatment, the better your chances of recovery. “If you suspect a stroke, remember the word FAST,” said Lake Regional Neurologist Philip Kurle, M.D.

F is for face — is it drooping?

A is for arms — can you lift them?

S is for speech — are you slurring your words?

T is for time — “Call 911 immediately because with stroke, time is brain,” Dr. Kurle said.

Ministroke Dangers

Transient ischemic attacks, sometimes called “ministrokes,” are also a danger. These attacks cause double vision, drowsiness, and nausea or vomiting. Sometimes the warning signs last only a few moments and then disappear. Although brief, these ministrokes signal an underlying condition that requires medical attention.

“Unfortunately, many people think all is well when the symptoms clear up,” Dr. Kurle said. “The reality is these ministrokes often precede a major stroke. People need to seek treatment to prevent that big stroke from happening.”

Lake Regional Stroke Care

To help stroke patients get the right treatment as quickly as possible, a state law requires ambulances to take patients experiencing a stroke to the closest designated stroke center. As a Level II Stroke Center, Lake Regional offers access to advanced stroke management techniques, as well as board-certified neurologists, specially trained Emergency Department physicians and staff, and rehabilitation staff. As a result, Lake Regional offers definitive stroke care for acute patients and can receive transfers from other care centers.

To learn more about stroke care at Lake Regional, visit