Stroke What Is a Stroke?


A stroke, also known as transient ischemic attack or cerebrovascular accident, happens when blood flow to the brain is blocked. This prevents the brain from getting oxygen and nutrients from the blood. Without oxygen and nutrients, brain cells begin to die within minutes. Sudden bleeding in the brain can also cause a stroke if it damages brain cells.

A stroke is a medical emergency. A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death. Signs of a stroke can range from mild weakness to paralysis or numbness on one side of the face or body. Other signs include a sudden and severe headache, sudden weakness, trouble seeing, and trouble speaking or understanding speech.

If you think you or someone else is having a stroke, call 9-1-1 right away. Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room. During a stroke, every minute counts.

At the hospital, a stroke team will assess your condition and treat your stroke with medicine, surgery, or another procedure. Your recovery will depend on how severe your stroke was and how quickly you got treatment. A rehabilitation plan may help you do the same things you used to do before your stroke.

Types of strokes. The most common type of stroke is ischemic stroke. This happens when plaque or a blood clot blocks blood flow to an artery in or on the brain. Hemorrhagic stroke is less common. This happens when a blood vessel breaks open and leaks blood into the brain. A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is similar to an ischemic stroke, but the blood clot breaks up after a short time, usually before there is long-term damage. Medical Animation Copyright © 2022 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.

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