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.