A stroke occurs when a blood clot obstructs a blood vessel inside the brain. Deprived of oxygen, cells in the brain begin dying within a matter of minutes. stroke is to the brain what a heart attack is to the heart.

Warning Signs of Stroke

  • Sudden change in vision
  • Sudden change in speech or speech difficulty
  • Numbness or weakness in your legs or arms, particularly on one side of the body
  • Sudden problems with walking or balance
  • Sudden onset of severe headache that is different from past headaches

When stroke is suspected, use the F.A.S.T. test to help pinpoint symptoms.

F.A.S.T Test: Talk, Wave & Smile

Face-ask for a smile. Does one side droop?
Arms-when raised, does one side drift down?
Speech-can the person repeat a simple sentence? Does he/she have trouble or slur words?
Time-time is critical, call 9-1-1 immediately if any symptoms are present.

Common problems after stroke include numbness in the arms or legs, difficulty walking, talking or swallowing, vision problems and comprehension issues.

Stroke symptoms can take anywhere from three to six months to improve, and very often require various forms of rehabilitation.