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What are the warning signs for a stroke?

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Sometimes a stroke happens gradually, but you're likely to have one or more sudden symptoms like these:

If you have these symptoms, call 911 even if you're not sure you're having a stroke.

  • Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side
  • Confusion or trouble understanding other people
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Trouble seeing with one or both eyes
  • Problems walking or staying balanced or coordinated
  • Dizziness
  • Severe headache that comes on for no reason

From: The Warning Signs of Stroke WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Stroke Association: "Impact of Stroke," "Types of Stroke," "Stroke Warning Signs," “Act FAST,” “6 Ways You Can Prepare for an Emergency.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Stroke: Warning Signs and Tips for Prevention."

American Heart Association: "Stroke Warning Signs."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Information Page."

Neurology Today: “Calls to Physicians' Offices May Delay Stroke Care.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is a Stroke?”

Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes : “Patterns of Emergency Medical Services Use and Its Association With Timely Stroke Treatment.”

Lancet : “Effect of treatment delay, age, and stroke severity on the effects of intravenous thrombolysis with alteplase for acute ischaemic stroke: a meta-analysis of individual patient data from randomized trials.”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on November 3, 2017

SOURCES:

American Stroke Association: "Impact of Stroke," "Types of Stroke," "Stroke Warning Signs," “Act FAST,” “6 Ways You Can Prepare for an Emergency.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Stroke: Warning Signs and Tips for Prevention."

American Heart Association: "Stroke Warning Signs."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Information Page."

Neurology Today: “Calls to Physicians' Offices May Delay Stroke Care.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is a Stroke?”

Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes : “Patterns of Emergency Medical Services Use and Its Association With Timely Stroke Treatment.”

Lancet : “Effect of treatment delay, age, and stroke severity on the effects of intravenous thrombolysis with alteplase for acute ischaemic stroke: a meta-analysis of individual patient data from randomized trials.”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on November 3, 2017

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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