Advocacy

Stroke Warning Signs

Stroke (brain attack) is a medical emergency. Know the warning signs. The longer you wait the more disabling your stroke can be. Knowing the warning signs is key. Don’t wait. Treatment is best within the first 3 hours of the onset of the stroke to receive the clot busting treatment (TPA). When stroke occurs, time is precious. If you experience the following symptoms, call 911.

1. Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body

2. Sudden dimness or loss of vision (particularly in one eye)

3. Loss of speech or trouble talking or understanding speech

4. Sudden, severe headaches with no apparent cause

5. Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or sudden falls, particularly if accompanied by any of the previous symptoms

Approximately 10 percent of strokes are preceded by “temporary strokes” (transient ischemic attacks or TIAs). A TIA has many of the same symptoms of a stroke but lasts a relatively short period of time (24 hours or less). TIAs should not be ignored; they may signal a problem that could lead to a disabling or fatal stroke. See your doctor.

Once the location of the stroke has been determined with scans of the brain, with either CAT Scan or MRI technology, the rehabilitation team, which includes the neurologist, the admitting physician, nurses, dietitians, rehab therapists, the patient and the family, can devise a plan for rehabilitation.

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Congressional Testimony