Recognizing the Signs of Stroke

Just a few hours ago I was helping load a patient into a helicopter to be flown to UT Medical Center. This patient was experiencing a stroke. As I watched the helicopter take off, I thought this week would be a good time to review the signs and symptoms of a stroke.

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs 1 of 2 ways. The first is called a Hemorrhagic Stroke. This is caused by a blood vessel bursting in the brain, causing a brain bleed. This bleed obviously then prevents blood and oxygen from reaching a part of the brain.

The second is called an Ischemic Stroke. This stroke can occur when a person gets a clot lodged in a blood vessel and again deprives a part of the brain of blood and oxygen.

Two different kinds of stroke, but both cause the same result.

Signs and symptoms of a stroke.

Because a stroke can happen anywhere in the brain, the signs and symptoms of a stroke all look different. Some people may have all the signs and symptoms. Others may only have one or two. Below are the signs and symptoms:

  • Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side
  • Confusion or trouble understanding other people
  • Trouble speaking
  • Trouble seeing with one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking or staying balanced or coordinated
  • Dizziness
  • Severe headache that comes on for no known reason

It is important to recognize these signs and symptoms quickly and act immediately. Time is brain, and a person only has about 4 hours before the affects of a stroke are irreversible.

For more information on strokes, you can visit the American Stroke Association. You can also watch a short video below about recognizing strokes and what to do. Lastly, we encourage everyone to take a First Aid class which trains you to recognize and treat strokes and other emergencies. Learn more about taking a First Aid class and view our upcoming classes.

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