Stroke signs FAQ
- Q Are there other signs of stroke?
Yes. The FAST signs are the most common signs of stroke and they are signs that are more likely to be caused by stroke than any other condition.
There are some additional signs of stroke that are less common. They include:
• Vision changes - blurred or double vision
• Sudden severe headache - usually accompanied by some of the other signs
• Numbness - usually on one side of the body
• Problems with balance
- Q What can I expect at the hospital?
The paramedics will take you to the closest hospital with a specialized program for stroke care. They will call ahead so hospital staff is 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 important, because it can help hospital staff decide what treatment is right for you.
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.
- Q Are women’s signs different than men’s?
- A The signs of stroke are the same for men and women.