Recognizing the Symptoms of a Stroke

Cardiac Emergency

A stroke is a life-threatening medical event that occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Without an oxygen-rich blood supply, brain cells become damaged and die very quickly. The symptoms of a  stroke occur suddenly—being aware of the signs can save lives and can help to prevent stroke’s possibly disabling effects. Symptoms can differ depending on the area of the brain affected, but the most common symptoms include:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially if it occurs only on one side of the body
  • Severe, unusual headache that can be described as the ‘worst headache of your life’
  • Blurry, dimming, or lack of vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding what is spoken to you
  • Lack of coordination, dizziness, falling, or loss of balance
  • Sudden confusion or memory loss

Symptoms of a stroke can also be different depending on whether it is caused by a blood clot (ischemic stroke) or by bleeding (hemorrhagic stroke). A transient ischemic attack , or TIA, can cause similar symptoms, but only for a brief period of time.  These ‘mini strokes’ are caused by a blockage that quickly dissolves and does not cause damage to the brain tissue. However, a TIA is still serious, as it can be a warning sign that a true stroke may happen in the future.

If you experience any possible stroke symptoms, seriously consider seeking medical intervention as soon as possible. The Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center is staffed with a professional Stroke Team of doctors and nurses to identify symptoms as quickly as possible. The Certified Stroke Center offers our community access to world-class medical care for this and other brain and spine injuries. You can learn more about our full range of services by contacting Sunrise Hospital at (702) 233-5300.

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