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Stroke Warning Signs & Symptoms

The following are the most common stroke warning signs. These may be sudden and include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden trouble speaking or understanding, confused
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause


Women may report unique stroke symptoms, including:

  • Sudden face and limb pain 
  • Sudden hiccups 
  • Sudden nausea 
  • Sudden general weakness 
  • Sudden chest pain 
  • Sudden shortness of breath 
  • Sudden palpitations 

Go to the ER immediately if experiencing any of the symptoms. Time is brain tissue.

Medical Conditions that Can Increase the Risk of Stroke

  • Previous stroke or "mini-stroke", also known as a transient ischemic attack or TIA
  • High blood pressure (hypertension is one of the leading risks for heart disease and stroke)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease, especially atrial fibrillation (a-fib)

What to Do if You Suspect Someone is Having a Stroke

You can perform these simple steps in order. You might want to remember: Act FAST! 

Stroke Warning Signs
F
Ask the person to smile. Does the FACE look uneven?



Stroke Symptoms
A
  Is the person able to raise both ARMS and hold to the count of 10? Does one arm tend to drift downward?



Stroke Awareness
S
  Is the person’s SPEECH slurred? Can they repeat a simple sentence? You can use the following: “They heard him speak on the radio last night.”


T If you suspect a stroke it is TIME to call 911 NOW!

Illustrations courtesy of National Stroke Association. Used with permission.

 

 

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Missouri Baptist Medical Center
3015 North Ballas Road
St. Louis, Missouri 63131
314-996-5000
Missouri Baptist Outpatient Center — Sunset Hills
3844 South Lindbergh Blvd.
Sunset Hills, Missouri 63127
314-525-0500
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