Your Health Matters


Knowing the signs of a stroke

May is National Stroke Awareness Month
Over half of stroke survivors suffer cognitive impairment
Posted at 7:38 AM, May 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-05 10:38:33-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — May is Stroke Awareness Month so 23ABC's Kallyn Hobmann visited Kern Medical to learn about the signs and symptoms we should all watch out for.

They told us about the BEFAST acronym:

  • Balance: Stroke victims may feel sudden dizziness and loss of balance or coordination. Is the person leaning to one side or staggering as they walk?
  • Eyes: Sudden trouble seeing out of one or both eyes. If the double vision doesn't go away when they blink their eyes, this could be a sign of stroke.
  • Face: The face may be numb or appear droopy from a stroke. Ask them to smile, and if the smile is lopsided, this could indicate a stroke.
  • Arm: Often, stroke victims experience sudden numbness of one arm. Ask them to raise both arms and check if one drifts downwards.
  • Speech: Is the person having trouble speaking? Are their words slurred? This is a warning sign of a stroke. Often, they cannot form coherent sentences or repeat very simple sentences, like “the sky is blue.”
  • Time: Call 9-1-1 immediately if you see these warning signs. Do NOT drive yourself or someone else to the hospital, as emergency medical services in the ambulance on the way to the hospital can provide lifesaving care and ensure the patient does not have to wait to be seen by a doctor.

Click here to learn more from the American Stroke Association.