Know the Signs
It is important to know the signs and symptoms of stroke, not just for yourself but for the others around you. By learning to watch for these signs, you could save someone' life, even someone you don't know.
FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drop downward?
SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a single phrase. Is his or her speech slurred or strange?
TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Download and print - Stroke Symptoms
What is stroke?
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot (ischemic stroke) or bursts (hemorrhagic stroke). Without the oxygen carried by the blood, brain cells begin to die immediately. Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of adult disability. More than 750,000 people experience a stroke each year.
What is TIA?
Prior to a major stroke, people sometimes experience a transient ischemic attack (TIA) in which a clot obstructs an artery for a short time and creates stroke-like symptoms. Since these "temporary" or "mini-strokes" last only minutes or hours, people often ignore them. Prompt medical treatment after a TIA can often prevent a fatal or disabling stroke.
What are the risk factors?
Men have a slightly higher risk of stroke, but women have a greater chance of dying from one. Also, mini-strokes, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and smoking greatly increase your risk.