A stroke occurs when the blood supply is interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Essentially, when you are having a stroke, there is a loss of blood flow to the brain.
Symptoms of a stroke appear suddenly. Watch for these symptoms and be prepared to act quickly for yourself or on behalf of someone you are with:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble talking, or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you suspect you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms indicative of a stroke, do not wait. Call 911 immediately.
Time Lost is Brain Lost
If treatment is started within the first three hours of stroke symptoms, an improved outcome for the patient is possible. When treatment is delayed, the consequences can mean an increased risk of disability or death.
Patients having an ischemic stroke may be eligible to receive a clot-busting drug called t-PA. Patients must be within 3 hours of the onset of symptoms and meet other strict eligibility requirements to receive t-PA.