Remember to Act FAST―Stroke!
If you have any of the following stroke symptoms, even if they appear to go away, call 9-1-1.
Face: weakness or numbness, severe headache, trouble seeing with both eyes
- Look in the mirror and smile, does one side of the face droop?
Arm/Leg: weakness or numbness on one side, trouble walking
- Raise both arms out to the side shoulder height, is one arm lower than the other?
Sudden trouble speaking or understanding, confusion, dizziness, imbalance
Time: Act quickly and call 9-1-1
Do not drive—it is important that emergency personnel attend to you without delay.
Take Action Immediately!
Check the time. When did the first warning sign or symptom start? You'll be asked this important question later. The answer will help determine the type of treatment that you or your loved one can have. The best chance of recovery is treatment given within 3 hours.
Don’t delay! If you have one or more stroke symptoms that last more than a few minutes, immediately call 9-1-1 so an ambulance can be quickly dispatched.
Don’t take no for an answer! If you're with someone who may be having stroke symptoms, do NOT hesitate to call 9-1-1. Denial is common. Expect the person to protest. Insist on taking immediate action.
Major Risk Factors for Stroke
Risk factors that cannot be changed:
- Age: Most strokes occur in people over age 55.
- Gender: Men have more strokes than women.
- Race/ethnicity: African Americans have more strokes than other races.
- Family history of stroke
- Personal history of transient ischemic attack/stroke
Modifiable stroke risk factors exist! Reduce stroke risk TODAY by:
- Managing/treating high blood pressure, diabetes, heart and/or vascular disease (including irregular heart rhythm/atrial fibrillation and high lipids/cholesterol)
- Stopping smoking
- Regulating alcohol intake
- Reconsidering use of oral contraceptives (especially over the age of 35)
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Eating a healthy diet
Types of Stroke
Ischemic Stroke (clots): The most common type of stroke, accounting for 87% of all stroke cases, ischemic stroke occurs as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain.
Hemorrhagic Stroke (bleed): Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures. Two types of weakened blood vessels usually cause hemorrhagic stroke: aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).
Intracerebral Hemorrhage: A type of stroke caused by the sudden rupture of an artery within the brain. Blood is then released inside the brain, compressing brain structures.
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: The location of the rupture in this type of stroke leads to blood filling the space surrounding the outside of the brain, creating pressure on the brain.
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): Often called a “mini stroke,” TIA is caused by a temporary clot that resolves on its own. A TIA is more accurately characterized as a “warning stroke,” which should be taken seriously.
For more information, including educational illustrations of the different types of stroke, please visit the American Stroke Association website.