Wellness Matters

Time Lost is Brain Lost – Know the Warning Signs of a Stroke

February 16, 2015

A stroke is a medical emergency. However, receiving proper treatment within the first three hours of the start of symptoms can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke.

What happens when a person has a stroke?

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts. Without blood and the oxygen it carries, part of the brain starts to die.

Brain damage can begin within minutes. That's why it's so important to know the symptoms of a stroke and to act fast.

What are the warning signs?

  • 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.

What should I do if I notice these symptoms?

Call 9-1-1 immediately if you or someone you're with experiences these symptoms.

And see your doctor if you have symptoms that seem like a stroke, even if they go away quickly. You may have had a mini-stroke, which is a warning that a stroke may happen soon.

If I or someone I love experiences a stroke, what's the chances of recovery?

For years, people believed that once a person had a stroke, little could be done to improve chances of recovery. However, acting quickly can help improve chances of recovery, shorten hospital stays and minimize the potential for permanent damage. Learn more about stroke recovery here.


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