• By Jennifer O'Hara

Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Don’t ignore the warning signs of stroke

May 24, 2022
a man lying on the sidewalk holding his chest, having a heart attack or stroke, with a woman helping him and calling for help on the phone

On average, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is crucial. Early action can reduce brain damage and other complications.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted, depriving the brain of oxygen. It's important to recognize the warning signs of stroke, because prompt treatment can minimize brain damage. Every moment is crucial. 

"Strokes commonly occur in people of all ages," says Dr. Robert D. Brown, Jr., chair of Mayo Clinic's Division of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases. "And, so, it's very important that people know what is a stroke, what are the symptoms, and what are the risk factors for stroke." 

May is National stroke Awareness Month. In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Brown explains the importance of remembering the F.A.S.T. acronym to recognize a stroke:

  • Face drooping.
  • Arm weakness.
  • Speech difficulty.
  • Time to call 911.

Learn more about recognizing the signs of stroke:

Watch: Dr. Brown discuss stroke awareness

Read the full transcript.

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For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in a nonpatient care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.