A stroke is a life-threatening medical illness that occurs when part of the brain’s blood supply is cut off. Strokes are a medical emergency that require immediate attention. The sooner a stroke victim receives care, the less damage is likely to occur. Stroke signs and symptoms The following are the primary symptoms of a stroke that can be remembered using the acronym FAST: Face – the person’s face may have sunk on one side, they may be unable to smile, or their lips or eye may have sunk. Arms — Because of weakness or numbness in one arm, a person with a suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and maintain them there. Speech – despite looking to be awake, their speech may be slurred or garbled, or they may be unable to communicate at all; they may also have difficulty understanding what you’re saying to them. Time – If you encounter any of these signs or symptoms, it’s vital to call emergency services. A stroke can be caused by a variety of factors. The brain, like all organs, relies on blood for oxygen and nourishment to function correctly. When the blood supply to the brain is reduced or cut off, brain cells begin to die. This can result in brain damage, incapacity, and even death. Strokes are caused by two basic factors: 85 percent of all cases are ischemic, in which the blood supply is cut off due to a blood clot. A weakened blood artery supplying the brain bursts, causing haemorrhage.