A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is blocked or a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and causes brain cells to die. The cells of a brain do not re-grow and in a stroke, two million brain cells are lost every minute.
Stroke is the third largest cause of death and in the United States and a person experiences a stroke almost every 40 seconds.
What to look for: Warning signs and symptoms of a stroke
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
That's why it's so important to learn the signs and symptoms of stroke, and to learn to act F.A.S.T. to identify symptoms of a stroke:
Face - Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arms - Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech - Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?
Time - If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 911 or get to the hospital fast. Every second counts because brain cells could be dying.
Not all of the warning signs occur in every stroke. Don’t ignore signs of a stroke, even if they go away. It is important to call 911 or your local emergency medical service (EMS) number so an ambulance can quickly get the person to the Emergency Department. When talking to 911, EMS or the hospital, be sure to use the word “STROKE.”
Note the time the symptoms began and report them to the treatment team. This information is important because if expert medical treatment begins quickly, brain cells can be saved and the chances of recovery are greatly increased.
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- Brain Aneurysm
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- Risk Factors for Stroke
- Screening for Stroke
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- Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
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- Surgical Procedures for Stroke
- Symptoms of Stroke
- Treatments for Stroke