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A stroke is an interruption in the blood flow to our brain from either a clot or a break in the blood vessel. It is critical for someone who is experiencing signs or symptoms of a stroke to be transported to the hospital by trained medical personnel immediately. Early recognition is key, and a stroke is a medical emergency.
Depending on the individual, strokes will come with one or more sudden symptoms.
  • Numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Difficulty seeing from one or both eyes
  • Problems walking, dizziness or loss of balance
  • Severe headache without a known reason
If you experience any of the signs or symptoms of a stroke, don’t take chances. Call 911.
Recognizing the symptoms of a stroke is key to getting effective treatment quickly enough to help. At HSHS St. Vincent Hospital, we’re helping people learn to watch for stroke through a simple idea, BE-FAST. Use the BE-FAST acronym to remember stroke warning signs.
Risk factors such as age, genetics, gender and race cannot be controlled. However, there are several risk factors that you can control. If your health care provider has already identified that you have any of these risk factors, it is very important to create a health care plan to help reduce your risk of stroke.
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Tobacco use
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Excessive alcohol intake and illegal drug use
  • Physical inactivity
  • Carotid, peripheral vascular disease or other artery disease
  • Atrial fibrillation or other heart disease
  • A history of mini-strokes
  • A high red blood cell count
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Stress
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • Unhealthy diet
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