May is American Stroke Month, and MUSC wants to help increase stroke awareness and educate South Carolinians that stroke is largely preventable, treatable and beatable.

Do you know how to spot the signs of a stroke?

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you'll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. is:

  • F: Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
  • A: Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S: Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T: Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.

Time is brain. New treatments are available that greatly reduce the damage caused by a stroke--but you need to arrive at the hospital within 60 minutes after symptoms start to prevent disability.

MUSC's Comprehensive Stroke Center services include the latest in surgical and minimally invasive interventions, telemedicine outreach, on-site emergency care, on, stroke-specific hospital units and trained staff.