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Signs of stroke

Signs of stroke

Stroke is a medical emergency. Learn the signs. If you experience any of these signs, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately. Acting quickly can improve your survival and recovery. Do not drive to the hospital. An ambulance will get you to the best hospital for stroke care.

Stroke signs FAQ

Q What can I expect at the hospital?
A

The paramedics will take you to the closest hospital with a specialized program for stroke care. They can call ahead so hospital staff are prepared for your arrival.

You should receive medical attention soon after you arrive. If you don’t, let the emergency department staff know.

Provide detailed medical history and information about past medical conditions if possible. Knowing the exact time that the stroke signs began is helpful.

A brain scan should be done soon after you arrive, to find out the kind of stroke you experienced. If the stroke was caused by a blood clot, you may benefit from a drug called tPA. It can re-open blocked arteries which reduces the severity of the stroke, helping you recover more fully. tPA must be given as soon as possible and within four and a half hours from the start of symptoms.

Q What is a mini-stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack)?
A

TIA (Transient ischemic attack), or “mini-stroke” happens when a clot stops blood from flowing to the brain for a short time. TIA is a medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency immediately. If you are not admitted to a hospital, ask when you will be seen at a stroke clinic and how that is arranged.

Q How do I know if I’m at risk?
A

Your risk of stroke depends on your lifestyle habits like what you eat and whether you are active. Some health conditions - in particular high blood pressure - are significant contributors to risk. And finally, your risk depends on things you can’t control such as age and family history. Our risk assessment tool will help you assess your risk and will provide you with a personal report.

Have you recently suffered a stroke?