Stroke Education and Treatment
When it comes to stroke, studies have shown a significant improvement in
outcomes when best practice protocols are applied. Surviving a stroke
not only means seeking immediate medical attention at the first sign of
symptoms, but also receiving treatment at a medical center experienced
in acute stroke management.
Ranked among the top five percent in the nation for stroke treatment, Hoag
Hospital provides comprehensive services for the evaluation, prevention,
treatment and ongoing care of stroke patients.
What is Stroke?
To understand a stroke, think of it as a heart attack that happens in the
brain. A stroke (or brain attack) is a potentially fatal condition that
occurs when a blood clot, or ruptured blood vessel, interferes with blood
flow to the brain. When this happens, part of the brain cannot get the
blood and oxygen it needs, so it starts to die.
Every 45 seconds, someone in America has a stroke. It is the third leading
cause of death and the leading cause of disability in adults. Depending
on the type, extent and location of the damage – as well as how
quickly emergency care is given – a stroke can result in death or
may permanently impair a person's ability to move, speak, think, remember,
respond normally or live independently.
Warning Signs of Stroke
- Sudden change in vision – blurred or loss of vision
- Sudden confusion or difficulty of speech – slurred or sluggish, loss
of words or difficulty understanding words
- Sudden weakness – loss of strength in face, hand, arm and/or leg
on one side of the body
- Sudden loss of balance or dizziness – difficulty walking or clumsiness
- Sudden change in sensation – heaviness, numbness or unusual sensation
in face, hand, arm and/or leg on one side of the body
- Sudden severe headache, unexplained, often described as the worst headache ever
Even if the symptoms only last a few minutes, it could be a mini-stroke,
which is called a TIA (transient ischemic attack). TIA is also a medical
emergency that requires immediate medical attention. An unrecognized and
untreated TIA may be followed by a major disabling stroke. Therefore,
if any of the above symptoms occur, it is critical to seek immediate emergency
Another quick way to identify a stroke is to follow the Act F.A.S.T. signs:
Face – Facial droop; uneven smile
Arm – Arm numbness/weakness
Speech – Slurred speech; difficulty speaking or understanding
Time – Call 911 immediately