Stroke is the term doctors use when a part of the brain is damaged because of a problem with blood flow.
Strokes can happen when an artery going to the brain gets clogged or closes off, and part of the brain goes without blood for too long.
They can also happen when an artery breaks open and starts bleeding into or around the brain.
The effects of strokes can depend on a lot of things including
- Which part and how much of the brain is affected
- How quickly the stroke is treated.
How to Tell if a Person has a Stroke
Think of the word "FAST." Eachletter in the word stands for one of the things to watch out for:
- Face- Does the person's face look uneven or droop on one side?
- Arm- Does the person have weakness or numbness in one or both arms? Does one arm drift down if the person tries to hold both arms out?
- Speech – Is the person having trouble speaking? Does his or her speech sound strange?
- Time- If you notice any of these stroke signs, call for an ambulance (in the US and Canada, dial 9-1-1). You need to act FAST. The sooner treatment begins, the better the chances of recovery.
The right treatment depends on what kind of stroke you are having. You need to get to the hospital very quickly to figure this out.
People whose strokes are caused by clogged arteries can:
●Get treatments that help reopen clogged arteries. These treatments can help you recover from the stroke.
●Get medicines that prevent new blood clots. These medicines also help prevent future strokes.
People whose strokes are caused by bleeding can:
●Have treatments that might reduce the damage caused by bleeding in or around the brain
●Stop taking medicines that increase bleeding, or take a lower dose
●Have surgery to repair the artery or stop the bleeding (this is not always possible to do)