AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 4, 2018


Study Published in Stroke Supports Change to FAST Mnemonic for Stroke

Organizations like the American Heart Association (AHA) have promoted the FAST concept to help people recognize the symptoms of stroke. FAST stands for Face, Arm, Speech and Time – the last letter a reminder to seek treatment immediately because strokes can be debilitating or even deadly. However, a study authored by a resident physician at the University of Kentucky might signal a sea change in how we educate lay people and first responders to look for stroke. Susanth Aroor, MD, a fourth-year neurology resident at the University of Kentucky, was inspired by a conversation with Larry B. Goldstein, MD, chair of the University of Kentucky Department of Neurology and Aroor’s mentor, to explore how many strokes were initially missed because the FAST mnemonic did not apply to them. “Dr. Goldstein’s idea to look at FAST, which was prompted by a conversation he had with a medical reporter, was something that made a lot of sense to me as I would very often see patients presenting with strokes that were FAST negative,” Aroor said.

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