Mayo Clinic Q&A

From complex or serious conditions like cancer and heart disease to the latest news on research and wellness, host Dr. Halena Gazelka asks the questions and gets easy-to-understand answers from Mayo Clinic experts

Episodes Don't ignore the warning signs of stroke

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

Don’t ignore the warning signs of stroke
May 24, 2022

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: