Stroke is a disruption of blood flow to the brain, caused by a blood clot or bleeding in the brain. It’s a medical emergency requiring immediate attention. The more you know about the symptoms, the better prepared you’ll be in the event of a stroke.
Dignity Health Southern California provides expert assessment of stroke symptoms in Southern California. Visit one of our state-of-the-art locations:
Our compassionate doctors, nurses, and staff are fully committed to personalized care for stroke. If you’d like to meet with a specialist, use our online Find a Doctor tool.
Signs of Stroke
Everyone should know the signs of stroke. If you suspect stroke, call 911.
The most common signs of stroke are sudden:
- Inability to speak a coherent sentence
- Weakness in the arms or legs, especially on just one side
- One-sided weakness or sagging of the face
- Loss of movement, especially on just one side of the body
- Vision loss or disturbance in one or both eyes
- Severe headache coupled with any other stroke symptom
To quickly assess whether a person might be experiencing a stroke, use the FAST approach:
- F for Face: Is the person’s smile lopsided?
- A for Arms: If the person extends both arms to the sides and raises them to shoulder level, does one arm droop?
- S for Speech: Does the person have difficulty speaking a simple sentence like “the sky is blue today”?
- T for Time: If the answer to any of the questions above is “yes,” call 911 immediately.
Stroke Diagnosis at Dignity Health Southern California
In most cases, stroke is diagnosed in a hospital’s emergency room. A doctor at Dignity Health Southern California often can make a diagnosis based on a person’s physical symptoms. Tests, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are also used to help determine the cause of stroke.
A fast stroke diagnosis is crucial to treatment. A stroke caused by a blood clot requires clot-busting medication within a period of two hours. You should always seek treatment if you suspect a stroke. Dignity Health doctors provide diagnosis and treatment for stroke signs in Southern California.