A stroke or “brain attack” occurs when an area of the brain experiences a sudden loss of circulation. The first step in stroke care is recognizing the symptoms:
- Numbness or weakness on one side of the body
- Confusion or trouble speaking
- Dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Severe headache with no known cause
If you suspect a stroke, think F.A.S.T.
- FACE - Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- ARM - Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- SPEECH - Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
- TIME - If you observe any of these signs, call 911.
A stroke is a medical emergency. After calling 911, you will be transported to the nearest Comprehensive Stroke Center, such as Northwest Community Hospital, and taken to the Emergency Department. Be sure to note the time when symptoms of the stroke first occurred. Without immediate treatment, a stroke can result in serious, long-term disabilities, such as trouble speaking and difficulty with comprehension, impaired vision, problems with balance and coordination, confusion and memory loss.
More about stroke, brain aneurysms and other conditions affected by circulation to the brain.