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Recognizing Stroke Symptoms in Northern California

Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disturbed due to a blood clot or bleeding in the brain. Stroke is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention, so knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke is important.

Dignity Health North State hospitals offer complete stroke care, including our telestroke program, which helps provide access to care for people who don’t have emergency neurology services easily available to them.

If you would like to learn more about stroke signs and symptoms in Northern California, Find a Doctor online.

If you suspect stroke, call 911. Prompt emergency medical care can save your loved one's life.


Signs of a Stroke

Stroke signs and symptoms come on suddenly and include: 

  • One-sided weakness, numbness, or sagging of the face
  • Paralysis on one side of the body
  • Weakness in the arms or legs, especially on one side
  • Vision disturbance or loss in one or both eyes
  • Incoherent speech
  • Severe headache

You can quickly assess stroke signs and symptoms with the FAST approach:

  • F for face: Is the smile lopsided?
  • A for arms: Does one arm droop when both arms are raised to shoulder level?
  • S for speech: Is there difficulty speaking a coherent sentence?
  • T for time: If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, call 911 immediately.


Diagnosing Stroke at Dignity Health North State

At Dignity Health North State, strokes are usually diagnosed in the emergency services department of one of our hospitals. Doctors can often make a stroke diagnosis simply by looking at the physical signs. In some cases, they will use imaging exams including computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head to determine the cause of the stroke.

Effective treatment is dependent on quick diagnosis. Strokes caused by a blood clot require administration of a thrombolytic (clot-busting) medication within two hours of onset of the event. Even if you are unsure about the symptoms, never delay emergency stroke treatment. You can trust our experts for the timely care you need.

Dignity Health North State hospitals offer fast, emergency care for stroke symptoms in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.