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Diagnosing Stroke Symptoms in Central California

A stroke is a serious, potentially life-threatening medical emergency. It happens when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, caused by bleeding or a blood clot. The best way to prevent further complications from a stroke is to know the symptoms and how to respond.

As part of our neurology services, Dignity Health Central California provides expert stroke care at our hospitals, including telestroke programs if you don’t live near a fully-staffed stroke center.

If you or a loved one are unsure about stroke symptoms in Central California, call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room (ER).


Signs of Stroke

It’s important to recognize the early warning signs of stroke, as this can be the difference between life and death. Seeking emergency medical assistance, such as calling 911, is the best thing to do in the event of a stroke. You should do this even if you’re not sure the person is having a stroke. It’s always better to be overly cautious. 

Common symptoms of stroke include: 

  • Weakness in the arms or legs, especially on one side
  • Loss of movement, especially on one side of the body
  • Inability to speak coherently
  • Vision loss or problems in one or both eyes
  • Severe headache, along with other stroke symptoms
  • One-sided weakness or face drooping

If you’d like to learn more about stroke prevention and awareness, Find a Doctor at Dignity Health Central California today. You can also take our stroke risk assessment to stay on top of your health.


The FAST Approach for Stroke

If you’re unsure if someone is having a stroke, use the FAST method: 

  • F for Face: Is the face or smile lopsided?
  • A for Arms: Does one arm droop?
  • S for Speech: Trouble speaking?
  • T for Time: If yes for any of the questions above, call 911 right away.


Stroke Diagnosis at Dignity Health Central California

To diagnose a stroke, our doctors, emergency care providers, and telestroke neurologists follow a strict set of practice guidelines. Generally, a person’s physical signs are enough to make a diagnosis. If necessary, diagnostic tests may be recommended, including computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head. These can tell a doctor whether the stroke was caused by bleeding or by a blood clot. Once this is determined, specific treatment will be administered.

If you’re having a stroke, our experts are dedicated to your personal care and well-being. Learn more about treatment for a stroke at Dignity Health Central California.

Neurologists at Dignity Health Central California offer patient education on the signs of stroke in Bakersfield, and Stockton, CA.