If you notice one or more of these signs, don’t wait. Stroke is a medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 or your emergency medical services. Get to a hospital right away!
The the warning signs of a stroke include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
Be prepared for an emergency.
- Keep a list of emergency rescue service numbers next to the telephone and in your pocket, wallet or purse.
- Find out which area hospitals are primary stroke centers that have 24-hour emergency stroke care.
- Know (in advance) which hospital or medical facility is nearest your home or office.
Take action in an emergency.
- Not all the warning signs occur in every stroke. Don’t ignore signs of stroke, even if they go away!
- Check the time. When did the first warning sign or symptom start? You’ll be asked this important question later.
- If you have one or more stroke symptoms that last more than a few minutes, don’t delay! Immediately call 9-1-1 or the emergency medical service (EMS) number so an ambulance (ideally with advanced life support) can quickly be sent for you.
- If you’re with someone who may be having stroke symptoms, immediately call 9-1-1 or the EMS. Expect the person to protest — denial is common. Don’t take “no” for an answer. Insist on taking prompt action.
For stroke information, call the American Stroke Association at 1-888-4-STROKE or visit their Web site.