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How to identify a stroke

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27 Jun 2021

It is said that during a stroke every minute counts.By knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke, you can take quick action and perhaps save a life.

If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do the following simple test:

F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?

T—Time: If you see any of these signs, call an ambulance


Common Signs of Stroke

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.

  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.

  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.

  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

The three main types of stroke are:

  • Ischemic stroke

  • Transient ischemic attack

  • hemmorhaging stroke


Ischemic Stroke

Most strokes (87%) are ischemic strokes.An ischemic stroke happens when blood flow through the artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes blocked.Blood clots often cause the blockages that lead to ischemic strokes.


Hemorrhagic Stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke happens when an artery in the brain leaks blood or ruptures (breaks open). The leaked blood puts too much pressure on brain cells, which damages them.

High blood pressure and aneurysms—balloon-like bulges in an artery that can stretch and burst—are examples of conditions that can cause a hemorrhagic stroke.


TIA-Transient Ischemic Attack


Also known as mini stroke.Here , the blood flow to the brain is blocked for only a short time—usually no more than 5 minutes

It is important to know that:

  • A TIA is a warning sign of a future stroke.

  • A TIA is a medical emergency, just like a major stroke.

  • Strokes and TIAs require emergency care. Call 9-1-1 right away if you feel signs of a stroke or see symptoms in someone around you.

  • There is no way to know in the beginning whether symptoms are from a TIA or from a major type of stroke.

  • Like ischemic strokes, blood clots often cause TIAs.

  • More than a third of people who have a TIA and don’t get treatment have a major stroke within 1 year. As many as 10% to 15% of people will have a major stroke within 3 months of a TIA.2

Recognizing and treating TIAs can lower the risk of a major stroke. If you have a TIA, your health care team can find the cause and take steps to prevent a major stroke.


If you’re having a stroke, it’s critical that you get medical attention right away. Immediate treatment may minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death. Thanks to recent advances, stroke treatments and survival rates have improved greatly over the last decade.



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Padmja Dave

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