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Face drooping is when a section of skin on the face is hanging down. Arm weakness is if the person can't raise their arm. Speech difficulty is about whether the person can speak clearly and understand speech. Time represents the need to get to a hospital (e.g., calling for help) immediately.
The FAST (aka the Face Arm Speech Test, amongst medical professionals) was developed in the UK in 1998 by a group of stroke physicians, ambulance personnel, and an emergency room physician and was designed to be an integral part of a training package for ambulance staff. The FAST was created to expedite administration of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator to patients within 3 hours of acute stroke symptom onset. The instruments at this time with most evidence of validity were the Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale (CPSS) and the Los Angeles Prehospital Stroke Screen (LAPSS).
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