Quick recognition of symptoms and fast action is critical when dealing with a stroke. Acting quickly at the first signs of symptoms can help minimize the effects of stroke and can mean the difference between life and death.
In most cases, a stroke provides little warning. Symptoms occur very suddenly and many people experience more than one. These signs include:
- 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
Don’t delay! If you or someone you are with has one or more of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Remember to make note of the time when the symptoms first appeared. If given within three hours of the onset of symptoms, a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) can reduce long-term disability associated with the most common type of stroke.