Recognizing the Warning Signs of Stroke

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Stroke is a medical emergency. If you notice one of these stroke symptoms that lasts more than a few minutes, do not delay. Watch for any of these symptoms*:

  • 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.
*American Stroke Association

Act Quickly

ED-86494476Immediately call 9-1-1 so an ambulance can quickly be sent for you. Not all the warning signs occur in every stroke. Do not ignore signs of a stroke, even if they go away. Check the time. When did the first warning sign or symptom start? You’ll be asked this important question later.

If you are with someone who may be having stroke symptoms, immediately call 9-1-1. Expect the person to protest — denial is common. Don’t take “no” for an answer. Insist on taking prompt action.

Minimize Brain Injury

While stroke is considered among the most serious medical emergencies, prompt and aggressive emergency treatment can save lives and minimize brain injury. One of the most important treatments for stroke, a drug called t-PA (tissue plasminogen activator), can only be injected within three hours of the onset of symptoms. The drug can prevent lingering disabilities in patients with a certain type of stroke.

Because immediate care is critical to a stroke patient’s survival and recovery, UMCPP is committed to having a stroke team, including specially trained physicians and registered nurses, available within 15 minutes following the diagnosis of a potential acute stroke.

On-Call at All Times

Physicians in the Center for Emergency Care at UMCPP are board certified emergentologists, and board certified neurologists and neurosurgeons are on-call at all times. A team of registered nurses at UMCPP is specially trained in stroke care. In addition, state-of-the-art computerized tomography (or CT) brain scans and laboratory services are available 24 hours a day.

Additional information about strokes is available through our Online Health Encyclopedia or by visiting the American Stroke Association’s website.

Click here for information on UMCPP’s Acute Rehabilitation Unit.