5 Signs of Stroke You Don't Want to Ignore
Time matters when a person has a stroke. Early treatment can help reduce disability from the stroke.
There are three types of stroke:
- Ischemic stroke is when a blockage of the arteries interrupts blood supply to the brain. This is the most common type of stroke.
- Hemorrhagic stroke is bleeding into brain tissue after a blood vessel bursts.
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage is a life-threatening type of stroke caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain. This the rarest type of stroke.
No matter what type of stroke a person has, early treatment is absolutely important. If a person has medical treatment in the first four hours of symptoms, MetroHealth physicians can administer intravenous medications called tPA clot busters that may minimize damage to the brain. After four and a half hours, these clot busting medications do not work, said Jon W. Schrock, MD, a stroke specialist in MetroHealth’s Department of Emergency Medicine.
These are the five symptoms of stroke you should never ignore:
- Face drooping. Check to see if one side of the face droops or feels numb. If you smile, is it uneven or lopsided?
- Arm weakness. If one arm is weak or numb, that’s a cause for concern. Try raising both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech. If your speech is slurred, or if you’re unable to speak, it could be a stroke. Can you repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue?”
- Fainting or excruciating head pain, often described as “the worst headache of my life.” This can be a subarachnoid hemorrhage and requires immediate treatment.
- Other sudden changes, such as confusion, trouble walking or trouble seeing, need to be checked out right away.
"Never ignore stroke symptoms. Always call 911, even if the symptoms go away."
“If you have stroke symptoms, we really recommend you call 911. The local ambulance can drive faster than you can, and they can also manage stroke symptoms before you get to the hospital,” he said. “It’s important that you call right away, too. If you wait for symptoms to get better, by the time you get to the hospital, it might be too late to treat and damage to the brain may already have happened.”
MetroHealth provides the most advanced treatments for stroke.
MetroHealth Main Campus is certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the highest certification possible, and handles the most complex cases.