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Stroke Signs and Symptoms Fact Sheet

View Stroke Signs and Symptoms Fact Sheet (PDF, 211 KB)

Stroke treatment at UK HealthCare

Stroke Center patients have access to not only to the region's top doctors, but also to the most advanced medical technology.

What is a stroke?

There are two major kinds of stroke. Ischemic stroke is caused by a blood clot that blocks a blood vessel or artery in the brain. About 80 percent of all strokes are ischemic. Hemorrhagic stroke is caused when a blood vessel in the brain breaks and bleeds into the brain. About 20 percent of strokes are hemorrhagic.

Common symptoms of stroke

Individuals may experience symptoms differently. If any of these symptoms are present, call 911 (or your local ambulance service) immediately. Treatment is most effective when started immediately.
Symptoms may be sudden and include:

  • Weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Confusion or difficulty speaking or understanding
  • Problems with vision such as dimness or loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Dizziness or problems with balance or coordination
  • Problems with movement or walking
  • Severe headaches with no other known cause

All of the above warning signs may not occur with each stroke. Do not ignore any of the warning signs, even if they go away-take action immediately. The symptoms of stroke may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

Other symptoms of stroke

Other, less common, symptoms of stroke may include the following:

  • Sudden nausea, vomiting or fever not caused by a viral illness
  • Brief loss or change of consciousness such as fainting, confusion, seizures or coma
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) or "mini-stroke"

A TIA can cause many of the same symptoms as a stroke, but TIA symptoms are fleeting and last for a few minutes up 24 hours. Call for medical help immediately if you suspect a person is having a TIA, as it may be a warning sign that a stroke is about to occur. Not all strokes, however, are preceded by TIAs.

What should a bystander do?

Call 911 immediately if the victim suddenly loses the ability to speak, move an arm or leg on one side or experiences facial paralysis on one side. You must act quickly when someone is having a stroke. The longer blood flow is cut off to the brain, the greater the damage. Immediate treatment can save lives and enhance the victim's chances for successful recovery.

Primary Stroke Center

The programs associated with stroke treatment and prevention at UK HealthCare have received national accreditation and the UK Primary Stroke Center is the only stroke program in the region. For more information or a referral, call 1-800-333-8874.

Page last updated: 10/16/2013 3:23:55 PM