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Stroke 101

A stroke is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Sometimes called a “brain attack,” a stroke most often occurs when a blocked or reputed blood vessel causes a sudden loss of blood flow to the brain. It results in rapid death of brain cells and impairment to the parts of the body those brain cells control. It can even result in death.

Glendale Memorial Hospital has launched a comprehensive Stroke Program dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of strokes.

There are two major types of strokes

Ischemic Stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen to the brain is blocked by a clot. Approximately 85% of all strokes are Ischemic.

Hemorrhagic Stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and causes blood to leak into the brain. Hemorrhagic Strokes account for up to 20% of all strokes.

Prior to a major stroke, some people experience a Transient Ischemic Stroke (TIA), or mini-stroke, in which a clot temporarily blocks a blood vessel causing short term, stroke-like symptoms that last only a few minutes or hours.

Do not ignore any a TIA. Prompt medical attention is needed to help prevent a fatal or disabling stroke later.

Stroke Warning Signs

There are several warning signs of a stroke. If you notice one or more of these, do not wait. Call 911 immediately and go to the nearest hospital.

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arms, legs – especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one of both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden and severe headaches, with no known cause

Act F.A.S.T.

FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

SPEECH: Ask the person to say a simple phrase. Do the words sound slurred or strange?

TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Seconds do matter when it comes to getting immediate treatment for stroke. If you feel you or a loved one may be having a stroke call 911 immediately.