Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)


FAST Test

Stroke is a medical emergency. The sooner that a stroke is detected and treated the less chance there is of permanent disability or death.

If you suspect someone may be having a stroke you need to think FAST!

F – Facial weakness – can the person smile? Has their face drooped?

A – Arm weakness – can the person raise, and keep raised, both arms?

S – Speech problems – can the person speak clearly and understand what you say? Ask them to repeat their name.

T – Time to call 999

Testing for speech problems

"A chup of shtea peash." The person is not speaking clearly.

Testing for facial weakness

No facial weakness evident where both sides of mouth smiling equally. Right facial weakness evident where left side of mouth smiles but right does not.

Testing for arm weakness

Where patient can lift and maintain both arms equally then no arm weakness is evident. Where patient can not raise the right arm as much as the left, or cannot maintain it at the same height, then right arm weakness is evident.

If any of these symptoms occur suddenly call 999. This could save a life.

For more detailed information visit FAST Tool: Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland.

“a chup of shtea peash” The person is not speaking clearly.

No facial weakness evident where both sides of mouth smiling equally. Right facial weakness evident where left side of mouth smiles but right does not.

Where patient can lift and maintain both arms equally then no arm weakness is evident. Where patient can not raise the right arm as much as the left, or cannot maintain it at the same height, then right arm weakness is evident.

Page last reviewed: 13 Jan 2020