Conditions & Treatments
Strokes strike fast and, unfortunately, often. Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death and one of the leading causes of disability.
However, if stroke is recognized early enough and treated appropriately, the chances for recovery are much greater. To improve these chances, it's vital to know about stroke, its signs, and where to get the best care.
What is stroke?
Stroke is a brain injury caused by a cessation of blood flow in the brain. This interruption can be caused by either a blocked blood vessel or a ruptured blood vessel.
Because the brain is not receiving the oxygen and nutrients that it normally obtains from blood flow, the brain starts to die. So the sooner blood flow in the brain is restored, the better, making treatment at the first signs of stroke crucial.
What are the signs of stroke?
There are definite warning signs of stroke, including:
- Weakness: Abrupt weakness in the face, arms, or legs, usually on one side
- Confusion: Abrupt disorientation and inability to speak normally
- Vision problems: Abrupt blurry vision in one or both eyes
- Loss of balance: Abrupt difficulty walking and/or standing up straight, lack of coordination, and/or dizziness
- Headache: Abrupt, sharp pain in the head without provocation
Think it's a stroke? Call 9-1-1 immediately.
Every second counts when it comes to caring for someone who has had a stroke. If you see someone with one or more of the signs listed, call 9-1-1 immediately. (When the ambulance comes, ask them for Emory University Hospital.)
If you're with someone who has had a stroke, be sure to take note of the time when the first signs occurred. If treated within three hours, medications can reduce the risk of long-term disability.
Watch and Learn
Watch the Emory Stroke Center videos and learn more about ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, aneurysms.
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