What to Do If You or Someone Else is Experiencing Stroke Symptoms (BEFAST)

Time to Call for Help!

If you or someone else shows any of these symptoms, call for emergency medical help immediately. Time is critical in treating stroke, and the faster treatment is received, the better the chances of recovery.

In addition to the BEFAST symptoms, other signs of stroke may include:

  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding others
  • Sudden vision problems, such as blurry or double vision
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
  • Loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, or trouble walking
  • Nausea or vomiting

It’s important to note that not all stroke symptoms occur suddenly or all at once. Some people may experience a gradual onset of symptoms over hours or even days, which is known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or “mini-stroke.” TIAs are warning signs of an impending stroke and should be taken seriously.

Take Action

If you suspect that you or someone else is having a stroke, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away on their own, as every minute counts in saving brain cells and reducing the risk of long-term disability.

When you call for help, be sure to mention that you suspect a stroke, as this will help the emergency responders prepare for the appropriate medical treatment. Treatment for stroke may include medication to dissolve blood clots, surgery to repair or remove damaged blood vessels, or rehabilitation to help regain lost abilities.


In conclusion, stroke is a serious medical emergency that requires prompt recognition and treatment. Knowing the symptoms of stroke, such as face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, and time to call for help, can help you or someone else receive the timely medical care needed to prevent long-term disability or death.

Remember, every minute counts in stroke treatment, so do not hesitate to call for emergency medical help if you suspect a stroke.



  1.  https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/signs_symptoms.htm#:~:text=Sudden%20numbness%20or%20weakness%20in,balance%2C%20or%20lack%20of%20coordination.

Written by Cassandra Williams

Cassandra Williams is a Senior Editing Manager at A2ZHealthy