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Warning Signs of Stroke

The most common stroke symptoms are:


picture of person experiencing numbess in arm and leg on one side of the body
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg -- especially on one side of the body

picture of person having trouble speaking
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

picture of person experiencing blurred vision
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

picture of person feeling dizzy
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

picture of a person experiencing a severe headache
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.



Other less common symptoms include:

  • Sudden nausea, fever and vomiting - distinguished from a viral illness by the speed of onset (minutes or hours vs. several days)

  • Brief loss of consciousness or period of decreased consciousness (fainting, confusion, convulsions or coma).

What to do:

picture representing 9-1-1 stroke emergency call

CALL 9-1-1. Stroke is an Emergency! EVERY MINUTE COUNTS! Several new and experimental drugs may stop - and even reverse - this brain damage when administered immediately after the stroke*.



What is TIA?

TIA is a Transient Ischemic Attack or episode whereby symptoms of stroke appear for only a very short while and then disappear. The word "ischemic" means there is a local and temporary obstruction of the circulation. "Transient" means that symptoms are temporary and will soon go away.



Is TIA serious?

While TIAs are not strokes, they indicate serious underlying stroke risks and are a powerful warning sign that part of the brain is not getting enough oxygen and that a full stroke may soon follow. The National Stroke Association's advice is NEVER IGNORE STROKE SYMPTOMS. CALL 9-1-1. Only a doctor can tell for sure if you are having a stroke or a TIA.

For stroke support, call the American Stroke Association's Stroke Family "Warmline" at 1.800.553.6321. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association and offers informational packages for professionals, stroke patients and family members of stroke sufferers. Visit ASA website at www.strokeassociation.org

Ask your doctor or healthcare practitioner which hospital offers the best emergency treatment for stroke.


Grateful acknowledgement to the National Stroke Association (NSA) for the above information. Used by permission. For more information, you may contact NSA at 840 East Orchard Road, Suite 1000, Englewood, CO 80111-5015 or visit the NSA website at www.stroke.org .The site offers online support to family members. Email address: info@stoke.org

Stroke  |  What is a Stroke?  |  Stroke: Are You at Risk?  |  Stroke Warning Signs  |  Atrial Fibrillation (AF)   |  Pulse Check Twice a year to Screen for AF |  Stroke Facts

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1999-2000; updates: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 Women's Heart Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited. The information contained in this Women's Heart Foundation (WHF) Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and WHF recommends consultation with your doctor or health care professional.