World Stroke Day is Oct. 29

As part of World Stroke Day on Oct. 29, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is using the power of music to teach people the stroke warning signs and how to respond in a stroke emergency.

The new F.A.S.T. Song lyrics help people learn the most common warning signs of stroke and what to do if one occurs: If someone has a stroke near you, the F.A.S.T. song tells you what to do.

The letter “F,” it stands for face, if one half droops, no time to waste.

The letter “A” means an arm that’s weak.

The letter “S” means it’s hard to speak.

The letter “T” means it’s time for 9-1-1, call right away so help will come.

Learn the song to show you care, and help end stoke each time you share.

Fewer than one in 10 people know what each F.A.S.T. letter means and one in three people can’t name any stroke signs, according to American Stroke Association studies.

To help the public get in tune with the stroke signs, the association has several styles of the song and complete lyrics available on People are asked to share their favorite F.A.S.T. Song with family and friends on social media using #singFAST.

“Most of us can recall using song to memorize something in history class like U.S. states in alphabetical order or the preamble to the constitution. It’s fun and it really works. The same principle works for learning stroke signs,” said Rani Whitfield, M.D., American Stroke Association volunteer who is also known as Tha Hip Hop Doc.

Stroke is the world’s second-leading cause of death and No. About 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke every year. African-Americans have the highest stroke mortality and are less likely than whites to arrive within 3 hours and receive the clot-busting drug tPA. It’s also a leading cause of long-term disability – though largely treatable.

“Recognizing a stroke right away and calling 911 is the key when it comes to stroke,” said Jeffrey L. Saver, M.D., professor of neurology and director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at the University of California Los Angeles. “We have many effective therapies to treat stroke, but there is a short window for the patient to be evaluated at a hospital and receive treatment like a clot-busting drug or clot-removal device.”

The F.A.S.T. Song and World Stroke Day campaign are part of the American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative nationally sponsored by Medtronic. Together to End Stroke teaches Americans that stroke is largely preventable, treatable and beatable.

To learn more, visit To join and follow the conversation on social media, use #SingFAST.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke – the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association was created in 1997 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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