BE FAST to spot a stroke

Recognizing a stroke is the first step toward stopping it.

This fall, the IU Health adult academic health center stroke team expanded their stroke recognition methodology to incorporate dizziness and visual changes in the screening process.


For years, the widely-known acronym, FAST, had been used to recognize that a stroke is occurring. FAST stands for:

F – Facial weakness, such as an uneven smile or weakness on one side

A – Arm weakness, such as the inability to raise both arms evenly

S – Impaired speech, such as slurring or difficulty repeating simple phrases

T – Time is key. Call 911 immediately.


The Adult AHC team has recently embraced the BE FAST methodology to quickly identify early warning signs of a stroke, adding the following:

B – Balance, sudden dizziness, loss of coordination

E – Sudden trouble seeing out of one or both eyes

Sudden onset of dizziness, loss of balance or onset of visual changes can be important signs of a stroke that are often missed by members of the general public and healthcare community. Changing to this acronym will help increase awareness of the varied stroke symptoms and aligns with the national best practices for stroke education.