What is a stroke?

A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. 

Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential.

The sooner a person received treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.
If you suspect that you or someone else is having a stroke, phone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
Symptoms of stroke
The main symptoms of stroke can be remembered with the word FAST.  This helps to remind us that a fast response is vital.
  • Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped
  • Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm
  • Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying
  • Time – it’s time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms

 Find out more about stroke at and the Stroke Association is a valuable source of support as well as providing certain services.