If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of a stroke, call 911 immediately. Brain damage can begin within minutes, and quick treatment can help increase the chances of a full and meaningful recovery.
An easy way to remember the signs and symptoms of stroke is to B.E.F.A.S.T.
B = Balance - Does the person complain of sudden onset unsteadiness, dizziness or difficulty walking?
E = Eyes - Does the person complain of narrowing vision, blurred vision, seeing dark or bright spots?
F = Face - Ask the person to smile & show their teeth. Is the smile even or lop-sided?
A = Arms - Ask the person to raise both arms and hold them straight out. Does one arm drift downward?
S = Speech - Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Do words sound slurred or garbled?
T = Time - Knowing the time when the person was last seen “normal” helps determine the course of treatment and improve outcomes.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked (ischemic) or bleeds (hemorrhagic). Blood carrying oxygen can't get to the brain and brain cells start to die. Damaged areas of the brain can lead to loss of bodily functions, such as speech, arm movement and sight, can be impaired.
Typically, a CT scan is the first test performed, during or after a stroke. A CT scan will show whether the stroke was caused by a blocked artery or by a leaking or ruptured artery.
For a stroke caused by a clot or blockage, doctors might use:
Treatment for a stroke caused by a leaking or ruptured artery includes:
At Mercy, we offer comprehensive testing services to diagnose conditions and injuries, including:
At Mercy, we offer compassionate care for a variety of treatment services, including:
If a loved one had a stroke, would you know what to do? Be prepared to act with Mercy's free guide.
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