Know Stroke Symptoms
What makes stroke symptoms distinct is their sudden onset:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body)
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you believe someone is having a stroke call 911 immediately. Stroke is a medical emergency. Immediate treatment may save someone's life and enhance his or her chances for successful rehabilitation and recovery.
Don't wait for the symptoms to improve or worsen. If you believe you are having a stroke - or someone you know is having a stroke - call 911 immediately. Making the decision to call for medical help can make the difference in avoiding a lifelong disability.
Every minute counts. The longer blood flow is cut off to the brain, the greater the damage. The most common kind of stroke, ischemic stroke, can be treated with a drug that dissolves clots blocking the blood flow. The window of opportunity to start treating stroke patients is three hours. But a person needs to be at the hospital must sooner to be evaluated and receive treatment.
Where Can You Learn More About Stroke?
Talk to your doctor about your personal risk factors for having a stroke. For more information about stroke prevention and treatment, call the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at 1-800-352-9424.