Stroke, Vascular and Critical Care Neurology

Stroke Signs and Symptoms

Strokes occur very suddenly, and it is important to act quickly if you or someone you know has experienced any of the following symptoms:

  • Sudden onset weakness or paralysis of an arm, leg, side of the face
  • Sudden onset numbness, tingling, decreased sensation
  • Sudden Vision changes
  • Sudden onset slurred speech, inability to speak or understand speech, or difficulty reading or writing
  • Swallowing difficulties or drooling
  • Sudden onset vertigo (spinning sensation)
  • Sudden Loss of balance or coordination

The symptoms of stroke depend on what part of the brain is damaged. In some cases, a person may not even be aware that he or she has had a stroke.

The American Stroke Association recommends evaluating the five following behaviors to determine if symptoms are due to a stroke:

  • Walk - Is the patient's balance off?
  • Talk - Is the patient's face droopy or speech slurred?
  • Reach - Is one side weak or numb?
  • See - Is the patient's vision all or partially lost?
  • Feel - Is the patient's headache severe?

Don't wait. Call 9-1-1!

If you see one of these symptoms, and even if it goes away, call 9-1-1 immediately. This person may be having a stroke. If a patient can receive treatment within the first few hours after onset, there is a greater chance for improvement.