Signs & Symptoms of Stroke

  • F – Face droops on one side
  • A – Arm drifts downward on one side or doesn’t move
  • S – Speech is slurred or difficult to understand
  • T – Time is important ...Act FAST, call 911

Recognizing these signs and symptoms can make all the difference. It is important for family, friends, and co-workers to know the signs and symptoms of stroke. The stroke victim does not realize the severity of the situation at the time. It is up to the people around them to notice it and take action. A stroke may affect the left side of the body or the right side of the body. It could affect vision on one side. It can affect speech. Sometimes it affects balance. The person may say that they can’t walk because they feel like they are leaning to one side.


Taking IMMEDIATE action is the key to reducing disabilities from stroke. Winter Haven Hospital’s award winning Stroke Center has teams specially trained to evaluate a stroke patient to see if they could be a candidate to receive a clot buster drug that can decrease the progression of the stroke. Not all patients can receive the drug for many reasons. However, there is a short window of time (only hours) in which the drug can be given and is effective. Even if the symptoms go away or many hours have passed, immediate action needs to be taken.

Call 911 for an Ambulance

Stroke care in our community starts with the E.M.T’s and Paramedics. E.M.S. is specially trained in stroke assessment and initiates the Stroke Alert process by contacting the emergency department that the patient is on the way. They are a part of our Stroke Alert Team saving time by determining the time the symptoms started and transporting to a Stroke Center.

The Winter Haven Hospital Stroke Center was established to meet the needs for prompt diagnosis and treatment of people in our community who experience a stroke. A goal of the center is also to promote community awareness and prevention of risk factors that contribute to stroke. The Winter Haven Hospital Stroke Center Program is the only stroke program in the area that offers the full continuum of rehabilitation services that stroke patients may need to return to full recovery. Joy-Fuller Rehabilitation Center located in Winter Haven Hospital is the only in-patient rehabilitation center in our community.

Our Stroke Center is certified by the Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center. Winter Haven Hospital was the first Joint Commission Certified Stroke Center in Polk, Highlands and Hardee Counties. The American Stroke Association has also awarded Winter Haven Hospital’s Stroke Center its Get with the Guidelines™ Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award.