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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — May is Stroke Awareness Month and it’s important to know the warning signs.

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the world, but outcomes are greatly improved when caught early and you don’t have to be a doctor to spot one.

Today’s “Lauren’s List breaks” down the handy acronym/mnemonic devices that could help you save a life.

The word to remember is FAST.

F – Facial drooping: People experiencing a stroke tend to have trouble moving half of their face. To notice this quickly, ask the person to smile. If only half of their mouth turns up, that could be a sign of stroke.

A – Arm weakness: Someone having a stroke may find it difficult or completely impossible to lift their arm fully.

S – Speech difficulties: Slurred speech is one of the giveaway of a stroke. But it’s not just producing speech, if the person has trouble understanding speech, that’s a sign, too.

T – Time: This is simply a reminder that time is of the essence in a situation like this. If you notice any of the symptoms just mentioned, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 or go straight to the hospital if possible.

Do you know a stroke survivor?

I want to hear about them.

Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have a future “Lauren’s List” idea, send it to


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