Stroke Care Center - What is a Stroke?

Time Lost is Brain Lost
Every 45 seconds someone suffers a stroke in the USA 

A stroke or "brain attack" occurs when a blood vessel (a tube through which the blood moves through the body) breaks or a blood clot blocks an artery (a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body), interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happen, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. These abilities include speech, movement and memory. How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged.

Symptoms of a Stroke

Seek immediate medical treatment if you experience any one of these stroke symptom warnings:

  • Numbness or weakness of your face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Speech: Ask person to say "You can't teach an old dog new tricks"
  • Blurred, double or decreased vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause


Remember the phrase "Give Me 5":

Walk Is their balance off?
Talk Is their speech slurred or face droopy?
Reach Is one side weak or numb?
See Is their vision all or partly lost?
Feel Is their headache severe?


Myth vs. Reality

Myth Reality
Stroke is unpreventable Stroke is largely preventable
Stroke cannot be treated Stroke requires emergency treatment
Stroke only strikes the elderly Stroke can happen to anyone

Stroke happens to the heart

Stroke is a "Brain Attack"
Stroke recovery only happens for a few months following a stroke Stroke recovery continues throughout life


Visual Symptoms





Facial Droop: Ask patient to show teeth and smile.





Arm Drift: Ask patient to extend arms, palms down, with eyes closed.


Types of Strokes


An Ischemic Stroke occurs when a clot blocks an artery supplying blood to the brain.






A Hemorrhagic Stroke occurs when an artery in the brain leaks or breaks.






To Learn More About Strokes and Reducing Risk Factors