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Stroke Symptoms

Why Stroke Matters

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States, with approximately 795,000 people suffering a stroke each year.
● A stroke happens when the brain’s blood vessels are blocked or burst, denying the brain of the blood and oxygen it requires, causing brain cells to die.
● If you are having symptoms of a stroke, getting help fast is important to prevent brain damage. Getting help quickly can limit brain damage and serious side effects. If you arrive at the emergency room within three hours of your first symptoms, you might have less disability three months after the stroke than if your care is delayed.

Symptoms

For men and women

The CDC notes these symptoms for stroke in men and women:


● Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body

● Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech

●Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
sudden  trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination

●sudden severe headache with no known cause

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Acting

on the information

1. Doctors recommend that people pay attention to their bodies. When you don’t feel well, don’t ignore symptoms that can be indicators of a serious problem.
2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you note the time when any symptoms first appear. This information helps healthcare providers determine the best treatment for each person. Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room.
3. Some people are at greater risk for stroke. If you smoke, are obese, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, you are at higher risk.11
4. If you are African American or Hispanic, you might be at greater risk. See the additional reading and resources below.

Women's

specific symptoms

5. According to the National Stroke Association, women may report symptoms that are different from the common symptoms. They can include:
● loss of consciousness or fainting
● general weakness
● difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
● confusion, unresponsiveness or disorientation
● sudden behavioral change
● agitation
● hallucination
● nausea or vomiting
● pain
● seizures
● hiccups

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Women's

Specific Symptoms

5. According to the National Stroke Association, women may report symptoms that are different from the common symptoms. They can include:
● loss of consciousness or fainting
● general weakness
● difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
● confusion, unresponsiveness or disorientation
● sudden behavioral change
● agitation
● hallucination
● nausea or vomiting
● pain
● seizures
● hiccups

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Specific

language

Know the signs of stroke! The CDC uses the acronym FAST to remember the signs and symptoms:

● F — Face: “Smile for me.” Does one side of the face droop?
● A — Arms: “Raise both of your arms.” Does one arm drift downward?
● S — Speech: “Repeat after me. Breakfast is served at eight.” Is their speech slurred or strange?
● T — Time: If you see any of these signs, call 911 right away. Time is of the essence in treatment.

Robin Shapiro

Robin Shapiro

Robin is a keynote speaker, workshop presenter and first-time author who specializes in health advocacy and patient empowerment. She believes that in the near future more people will understand what health advocacy is and what skills/experience and support is needed to secure the best care possible within the US Health System. She is a first-time author of The Secret Language of Healthcare: How to Ask for the Care You Deserve.

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