Stroke occurs suddenly and is caused by a blood clot or a hemorrhage in the brain. The symptoms of stroke can vary. The most common symptoms are

  • paralysis in one side of the face or body
  • language disorders

Symptoms may also include slight weakness in a hand or arm, severe headache, vision problems or dizziness. Call Emergency 113 for help with the assessments of what to do.

Symptoms of stroke

The symptoms of stroke occur suddenly. A single test can save lives. If you suspect a stroke, you can ask the person concerned to do the following:

TALK – get the person to say a simple coherent sentence
Both speech and language comprehension can be affected by a stroke. Some are unable to speak, do not find the words or speak incomprehensibly. Some will seem confused because they do not understand what you are saying.

SMILE – make the person smile, laugh or show their teeth
Strokes can paralyze half the face and/or half the body. If you ask the person to smile, you may see a crooked smile due to paralysis of the face.

LIFT – get the person to lift both arms
Paralysis of half the body can be a symptom of stroke. Ask the person to lift both arms to see if there is equal force in both arms. Impaired force in an arm or leg, which came suddenly can be paralysis due to stroke.

Check talk – smile – lift in connection with other symptoms such as:

  • Sudden severe headache
  • Shyness
  • Vision problems / loss
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Itchy and pale skin

These symptoms may be symptoms of stroke. Also see if the person is pale and clammy.
Stroke is dangerous for both life and quality of life. In the worst case, the person may die of a stroke, so it is urgent to get help.

Call Emergency 113 as soon as possible if you experience that you or someone close to you suddenly gets these symptoms. It is important to get quick help in hospital to prevent the injury from getting worse. 


Be aware that the symptoms described here, but which pass after a short time can be a small stroke, called “drip”. Call Emergency 113 for a recommendation of what to do. Such small strokes can come as a warning of a larger stroke and should therefore be investigated quickly.

First aid

In the event of a stroke, it is extra important to speak calmly, slowly and clearly to the person.
Make sure that the person stays calm and still, and preferably lying in a side position. This reduces the risk of vomiting or mucus entering the airways.

You must not give food or drink, nor medicine.
If the patient becomes worse, has difficulty breathing or becomes unconscious, call Emergency 113 again. They will help you until the ambulance arrives.