BE FAST to Save a Life


Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. It is the #1 cause of adult disability in the country and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the fifth leading cause of death in Kentucky.

In order to save a life, the acronym BE FAST can help you remember the signs of stroke, and what to do if someone is experiencing the symptoms.

BE FAST stands for:

B—Balance: Watch for sudden loss of balance
E—Eyes: Check for vision loss
F—Face: Llook for an uneven smile
A—Arm: Check if one arm is weak
S—Speech: Listen for slurred speech
T—Time: Call 9-1-1 right away

Time is one of the most important factors, the earlier you recognize the symptoms and get to an Emergency Department for proper treatment, the better chance you have of survival and minimizing the effects of a stroke.

Strokes can be prevented with proper diet, regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle. If you are at risk for a stroke or have underlying health conditions, medication may be an option to reduce your stroke risk factors.

Are You at Risk for Stroke?

Some risk factors for stroke are out of your control, like family history and age, but other risk factors you can control, including:

  • Alcohol and illegal drug use
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

If you aren’t sure what your risk is for a stroke, you can get a low-cost health screening. The St. Elizabeth CardioVascular Mobile Health Unit offers quick and convenient health screenings to help determine your risk assessment for stroke/carotid artery disease, cardiac age health, abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral artery disease and atrial fibrillation. To get screened for all 5, the cost is $100, or choose one or more individual tests for $25 each. Our mobile heart testing unit is available at various locations throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Download the May schedule for the Cardiovascular Mobile Health Unit. Registration is required for the screenings by calling 859-301-9355.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare is dedicated to reducing stroke death in the region through education and screenings and by providing advanced stroke care at The Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Centers in Edgewood, Florence and Ft. Thomas and The Joint Commission-certified Acute Stroke Ready Hospital in Grant and Covington.

If you or someone you know is having a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately. A stroke is an emergency and so make sure to BE FAST.