EMS Tips

Three Stroke Assessment Memory Aids

Stroke is the third leading cause of death. Prompt recognition of stroke by lay persons and EMS professionals is critical for stroke patients to receive timely hospital stroke assessment and intervention. There are several acronyms to remember the indicators to assess if a patient is having a stroke. Each acronym is a similar assessment of speech, motor function or control, and presence of paralysis.

The three Stroke Assessment memory aids that I know of are:

1. STROKE. This one was new to me (inexplicably). Learn more about using STROKE from Buck Tilton.

2. FAST. Explained by the Stroke Awareness Foundation. Look on the upper right of the home page for an explanation of FAST.

3. Give Me 5 is a memory aid from the Stroke Collaborative. Learn how to use Give Me 5. Note: this site is no longer active. 

Of course as an EMS professional you should be using either the CPSS or LAPSS for any suspected stroke patients. Don’t know CPSS or LAPSS. Let me know and I will explain in another post.

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.