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If you think someone is having a stroke, act  FAST

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If you think someone is experiencing stroke your first action should be to call 9-1-1.

The faster someone experiencing stroke gets medical attention the less likely they are to suffer from long-term effects.


What is stroke?

A stroke happens when blood stops flowing to any part of your brain, damaging brain cells. The effects of a stroke depend on the part of the brain that was damaged and the amount of damage done.

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FAST Campaign Heart and Stroke NB

© 2022 Heart and Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick. 

Stroke is a medical emergency. If you experience any of these signs, call 9-1-1. Do not drive to the hospital. An ambulance will get you to the best hospital for stroke care.


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Experience stroke through the eyes of a patient and witness

Would you recognize a stroke? Watch how a stroke unfolds. Know the signs of stroke. Call 9-1-1 right away. It could save a life.

Watch through the eyes of a witness
Watch through the eyes of a patient

Prevention starts with knowing your risk. Nine in ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for stroke or heart disease. Almost 80% of premature stroke and heart disease can be prevented through healthy behaviors. That means habits like eating healthy, being active and living smoke free, have big impact on your health. 

Prevention is Key

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Did you or someone you know recently suffer a stroke? Stroke is a major life event. It can affect different parts of your ability and your day to day life.  It affects each person differently.

Download a Stroke Journey book that provides critical recovery information to guide you after a stroke. If you did not receive yours in the hospital, download now, or contact us to send you a print copy (no charge).

Recovery & Support

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Download book


Stroke is a life-changing event. The common goal following stroke is recovery, which means regaining as much function and independence as possible. Heart & Stroke NB’s Stroke Navigation program is specifically designed to help  with this transition.

Stroke Navigation

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Frequently Asked Questions


What can I expect at the hospital?


The paramedics will take you to the closest hospital with a specialized program for stroke care. They will call ahead so hospital staff are prepared for your arrival. You should receive medical attention soon after you arrive. If you don’t, let the emergency department staff know.

Provide detailed medical history and information about past medical conditions if possible. Knowing the exact time that the stroke signs began is important, because it can help hospital staff decide what treatment is right for you.

A brain scan should be done soon after you arrive, to find out the kind of stroke you experienced. If the stroke was caused by a blood clot, you may benefit from a drug called tPA. It can re-open blocked arteries which reduces the severity of the stroke, helping you recover more fully. tPA must be given as soon as possible and within four and a half hours from the start of symptoms.


What is a mini-stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack)?


TIA (Transient ischemic attack), or “mini-stroke” happens when a clot stops blood from flowing to the brain for a short time. TIA is a medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency immediately. If you are not admitted to a hospital, ask when you will be seen at a stroke clinic and how that is arranged.


Are there other signs of stroke?


Yes. The FAST signs are the most common signs of stroke and they are signs that are more likely to be caused by stroke than any other condition. There are some additional signs of stroke that are less common.

They include:

  • Vision changes - blurred or double vision

  • Sudden severe headache - usually accompanied by some of the other signs

  • Numbness - usually on one side of the body

  • Problems with balance

Read more about the other signs here.


Are women’s signs different than men’s?


The signs of stroke are the same for men and women.


How do I know if I’m at risk?


Your risk of stroke depends on your lifestyle habits, like what you eat and whether you are active. Some health conditions - in particular high blood pressure - are significant contributors to risk. And finally, your risk depends on things you can’t control such as age and family history. Our risk assessment tool will help you assess your risk and will provide you with a personal report.

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