Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (Mini-stroke)

Approximately 800,000 people in the U.S. suffer a stroke each year.

A stroke occurs when the flow of blood to a part of your brain is blocked. Your brain can’t get the oxygen it needs, and brain cells begin to die. While some people recover completely from stroke, two-thirds of survivors will have some type of disability. This can range from paralysis to speech problems to memory loss, depending on where the stroke occurred and how much brain tissue is affected. If you think you or someone else is having a stroke, call 911 immediately because every minute counts. Your treatment will depend on what kind of stroke you are having: an ischemic stroke, where blood flow is obstructed by a clot, or a hemorrhagic stroke, where a blood vessel has ruptured.

80% of strokes can be prevented by minimizing your risk factors, such as controlling high blood pressure, diabetes and atrial fibrillation.

To treat an ischemic stroke, doctors must quickly restore blood flow to your brain. If started within 3 hours of the stroke, clot-busting drugs can improve your chances of survival and may reduce complications. For a hemorrhagic stroke, emergency treatment focuses on controlling the bleeding. Additional interventional management may be considered by Lourdes neurosurgeons. 

Another condition that is similar to a stroke is transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke, which occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is blocked but only for a short time. TIAs are a serious warning that a stroke may happen in the future.  

Symptoms may include:
• Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
• Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
• Sudden difficulty walking
• Sudden Dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
• Sudden severe headache with no known cause

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