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R.A.P.I.D.O. : Acronym & Campaign Helps Spanish Speakers Recognize a Stroke
  • Posted September 15, 2023

R.A.P.I.D.O. : Acronym & Campaign Helps Spanish Speakers Recognize a Stroke

The American Stroke Association is promoting the acronym R.Á.P.I.D.O. as a way to raise awareness among Hispanic Americans about stroke symptoms and the need for quick action.

Every second counts when someone has had a stroke, the association (ASA) points out. Calling 911 immediately can be the difference between life, death or long-term disability.

A survey showed that only 39% of Hispanic consumers were familiar with the English stroke warning sign acronym F.A.S.T., short for Face, Arms, Speech and Time. Only 42% could correctly name two stroke warning signs.

The newly developed R.Á.P.I.D.O. acronym aims to improve outcomes in this community.

"R.Á.P.I.D.O. is a tool that can help save lives," said Dr. José Biller, chair of neurology at Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine and an ASA volunteer expert.

"The language barrier is among the most significant barriers to health care access and quality," he said in an association news release. "Understanding which Spanish acronym resonated best with Spanish-speaking communities addresses this barrier while increasing stroke awareness and improving outcomes for all."

Increasing awareness is of particular importance in the Hispanic community, which has higher risk of stroke due to unmanaged risk factors, limited access to health care, lower health literacy, cultural and economic barriers.

Hispanic stroke patients also have longer delays to hospital arrival than other groups, more severe strokes and poorer outcomes.

By 2030, the prevalence of stroke among Hispanic men is projected to increase by 29%.

The ASA, a division of the American Heart Association, is launching Juntos Contra el Derrame Cerebral, a Spanish-language campaign to raise awareness about R.Á.P.I.D.O.

R.Á.P.I.D.O. stands for:

  • Rostro caído, which is face drooping
  • Alteración del equilibrio, loss of balance, or lack of coordination
  • Pérdida de fuerza en el brazo, arm weakness
  • Impedimento visual repentino, sudden vision difficulty
  • Dificultad para hablar, slurred or strange speech
  • Obtén ayuda, llama al 911, get help, call 911.

The acronym was developed and tested by a group of stroke experts at University of Texas Health Houston.

“The research to identify which Spanish acronym worked best for the Hispanic-Latino community was critical because the acronym reminds people what to look for and to ‘act fast' when they are having a stroke or see someone having one," said Jennifer Beauchamp, an associate professor at UTHealth Houston Cizik School of Nursing and the university's Institute for Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease.

"These symptoms are sudden and must be recognized quickly for the person to receive the appropriate treatment as soon as possible," Beauchamp said in the release. She led a team of nursing students who came up with the idea for the acronym.

This campaign to help achieve health equity in stroke includes a public service announcement and a jingle to help people memorize R.Á.P.I.D.O.

More information

For more information about R.Á.P.I.D.O. and stroke awareness, visit or

SOURCE: American Stroke Association, news release, Sept. 14, 2023

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