The most heartening thing about a stroke is that anyone can perform the initial diagnosis. Thus, getting the patient help as quickly as possible. We in the medical field love using acronyms because they help you remember things quickly and more easily. In this case, the acronym is FAST, F A S T. Remembering this can help save a life. F stands for the face. Ask the patient to smile. Does one of the side of the mouth droop, or can they do it normally? A is for arm. Ask the patient to raise both of the arms. Can they raise both arms at the same time or does one of them drift downward? S is for speech. Ask them to say a word, phrase, or sentence. Can they say it normally? Does it come out garbled? And finally T, the most important one of all, time. Call it as soon as one of you suspects someone is having a stroke.