accessibility & help

First aid for a

Watch the video, in which Mrs D has a stroke.

Use the information below the video to remind yourself how to help someone who is having a stroke.


Think F.A.S.T. Face: is there weakness on one side of their face? Arms: can they raise both arms? Speech: is their speech easily understood? Time: to call 999.

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Strokes are caused by a blockage of the blood supply to the brain. Part of the brain becomes damaged, and this can affect people’s appearance, bodily functions, speech and sight.


Immediately call 999 or get someone else to do it.

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A stroke needs immediate attention, and the faster the person receives medical help, the less damage is caused.

Talk to the person to reassure them while you wait for the ambulance.


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Send us your stories

We love to hear from people who have stepped forward to help in a first aid emergency. If you have a first aid story that you'd be happy to share, please email including your name, telephone number and some brief details about what happened. The British Red Cross will only use your information to contact you about your first aid story.

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Why you have to call 999 the moment you suspect a stroke

If you suspect a stroke, call 999

To help someone having a stroke you need to act fast. 

Find out why >