Recognize Symptoms, Act Quickly When Stroke Occurs

Donna Adinolfe,

Time is not on your side when you or a loved one is having a stroke, and knowing the signs can help you determine whether a stroke is occurring. If so, get to the hospital immediately.

Most of the classic signs of stroke come on suddenly, and there is about a three-hour window to receive tPA, a medication that can prevent permanent damage caused by a stroke.

Sudden weakness in the arm, leg or face are signs that stroke may occur, said Dr. James A. Ware Jr., medical director of the stroke program at Capital Health. Whichever part of the brain is affected during a stroke controls what the symptoms are, he added. 

Stroke occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen, usually from a blood clot.

Sudden onset of garbled speech or speech that doesn't make any sense are also classic signs of stroke, said Ware.

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National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.