Lear Blog

Recognizing Stroke Warning Signs

  • October 2, 2017
  • Advice Aging Elder Care Geriatric Care Health Care Home Care

Family members that survive a stroke experience major life changes. Recognizing stroke warning signs and getting that person to the hospital as soon as possible can make a significant difference in their outcome. Once a stroke starts brain cells begin to die and if treatment doesn’t begin quickly and the stroke runs its course millions of brain cells will die.

There are two types of strokes. The most common is an ischemic stroke which is caused by a blocked artery and the second is a hemorrhagic stroke caused by a broken artery. There is an FDA approved drug tPA “tissue plasminogen activator” for ischemic strokes that if used within three hours of the start of the stroke symptoms can enter the bloodstream and dissolve the clot causing the blockage.  Getting the patient to the ER in time is imperative as the patient will need to undergo an MRI or CT scan to determine exactly what type of stroke the patient is having. Giving a patient tPA who is having a hemorrhagic stroke would be fatal and missing the three hour window for the patient having an ischemic stroke might mean they experience more damage.

The following symptoms are signs of a stroke and should not be ignored.

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg especially on one side of the body.
  2. Trouble speaking, confusion, and losing the ability to understand.
  3. Trouble seeing out of one or both eyes suddenly.
  4. Dizziness, loss of balance, and/or coordination.
  5. Trouble walking.
  6. A severe, sudden headache.

One or more of these symptoms can be signs of a stroke. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms go away. Call 911 immediately!! Time lost can mean the patient will not be eligible for the tPA if they are suffering an ischemic stroke. If they are suffering a hemorrhagic stroke which is very serious they will need treatment immediately.

For more information about strokes and stroke recovery go to www.StrokeAssociation.org and/or call Stroke Family “Warmline” (888) 4-STROKE (478-7653).

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