FAST (stroke)

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FAST is an acronym used as a mnemonic to help detect and enhance responsiveness to stroke victim needs. The acronym stands for Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties and Time.[1]

  • Facial drooping: A section of the face, usually only on one side, that is drooping and hard to move
  • Arm weakness: The inability to raise one's arm fully
  • Speech difficulties: An inability or difficulty to understand or produce speech
  • Time: Time is of the essence when having a stroke, and an immediate call to emergency services or trip to the hospital is recommended.[1]

History[edit]

The FAST was developed in the UK in 1998 by a group of stroke physicians, ambulance personnel, and an emergency room physician and was designed to be an integral part of a training package for ambulance staff. The FAST was created to expedite administration of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator to patients within 3 hours of acute stroke symptom onset. The instruments at this time with most evidence of validity were the Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale (CPSS) and the Los Angeles Prehospital Stroke Screen (LAPSS).[2]

References[edit]