Stroke Education

Learn More About Stroke

Know the Signs of a Stroke


F.A.S.T. is an acronym used as a mnemonic to help detect and enhance responsiveness to the needs of a person having a stroke. 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 F.A.S.T. was developed in the UK in 1998 by a group of stroke physicians, ambulance personnel, an emergency department 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 Awareness Oregon has two community awareness goals:

“Training every child and adult in Central Oregon to know the signs of stroke (F.A.S.T.) and how to access emergency help (call 911) is the most important part of stroke care.”
Dr. Steve Goins

Every 40 seconds… someone has a stroke! Would you be able to help that person?

Stroke patients typically don’t know ‘what hit them’, and the people around them typically don’t recognize that they are having a stroke or what to do about it. Our Community Awareness Committee’s goal is to make F.A.S.T. as commonly recognized as 9-1-1. F.A.S.T. is a national campaign that educates everyone on how to recognize stroke symptoms and the need for immediate medical help. F.A.S.T. is Face (drooping), Arms (weakness), Speech (difficulty) and Time to call 911 because “Time is Brain”.

It is estimated that 80% of strokes can be prevented

The Community Awareness Committee works to engage the community in a dialogue about stroke prevention and how we work together to minimize the devastating effects of strokes. There are key factors when thinking about your stroke risk:

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Lifestyle factors that include diet, smoking, substance abuse, and exercise
  • Medical risks such as blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol

Want to calculate your risk for stroke?

Participate in the UCLA Health Stroke Risk Calculator to determine the likelihood that you could experience stroke in your life. It is important to know your risk factors, and how to decrease your chances of stroke.

American Heart Association and Stroke Association’s

New guidelines for Stroke Awareness to learn more click here.

The Dana Foundation has additional information about the brain. They present programs on a range of brain and brain health topics for diverse audiences please feel to seek additional information by visiting


Additional educational resources

Stroke is an emergency

Stroke can happen to anyone, at any time, and at any age. What happens when someone experiences a stroke and what occurs on the way to and at the hospital, is the focus of the 2018 National Stroke Awareness Month video from the National Stroke Association. Save a life by having a better understanding of stroke and by knowing what signs and symptoms to look for.

Want more information about SAO or want to help?

We need volunteers and donations. Call 541-323-5641 ext 347, or email