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A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain stops due to a clot, causing brain cells to stop receiving oxygen.

Stroke symptoms

Know the signs of a stroke. Similar to a heart attack, stroke is a “brain attack.” Time lost during an attack equals brain cells lost.

If you or a loved one has sudden onset of stroke symptoms, remember to act FAST:

F: Face drooping. Ask the person to smile. Is one side of the smile drooping?
A: Arm weakness or numbness, particularly on one side of the body. Ask the person to lift both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S: Speech that is slurred or difficult to understand. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Do the words come out clearly?
T: Time to call 911. If the person shows any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

Types of stroke

There are several types of stroke and stroke-related conditions:

  • Ischemic stroke, when a blood vessel becomes blocked
  • Hemorrhagic stroke, when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or bursts (such as during a brain aneurysm rupture)
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a “mini-stroke,” when a blood vessel is blocked for a short time

Stroke risks

The following increase a person’s risk of stroke:

Stroke survivors are at greater risk of having another stroke. Subsequent strokes can be more deadly and debilitating than the initial attack.

Why 85 hospitals from three states have their patients transferred to Rush for stroke care.

James Conners, MD, MS, a stroke neurologist at Rush, sheds some light on stroke survival and recent advances.

Whether you're a woman or have loved ones who are women, knowing these facts about stroke can help save lives.