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 to call emergency services.
- Facial drooping: A section of the face, usually only on one side, that is drooping and hard to move. This can be recognized by a crooked smile.
- Arm weakness: The inability to raise one's arm fully
- Speech difficulties: An inability or difficulty to understand or produce speech
- Time: If any of the symptoms above are showing, time is of the essence; call the emergency services or go to the hospital.
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).
- "Stroke Warning Signs and Symptoms". www.strokeassociation.org. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
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