Tuesday May. 23, 2023
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Stroke Basics: Why Knowing the Signs and Symptoms is Crucial for Saving Lives

5 Minute Read

Reviewed By: Dr. Celso Agner


Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in adults, yet it often goes unrecognized until it's too late. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke can make all the difference when it comes to saving lives. Every minute counts during a stroke, so recognizing its warning signs quickly could mean life or death for someone you care about. In this blog post, we'll explore why being aware of the signs and symptoms of a stroke is so important for saving lives. We'll also discuss what to do if you think someone may be having a stroke, as well as ways to help prevent one from occurring in the first place. By understanding more about strokes and their warning signals, you can take timely action that could potentially save someone's life! 

Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke

Strokes can be difficult to diagnose and recognize, as their symptoms can vary from person to person. However, there are some common warning signs that can help you identify a stroke: 

  • - sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg
  • - confusion or difficulty understanding simple conversations
  • - trouble seeing out of one or both eyes
  • - dizziness
  • - loss of balance or coordination
  • - severe headache with no known cause
  • - sudden trouble speaking or slurred speech


Another sign that someone may be having a stroke is the “BE-FAST” acronym. It stands for Balance, Eyes, Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, and Time to call 911.  

If any one of these signs is present in someone you know, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. If someone has an ischemic stroke, it may be fixed with medicine or surgery within 24 hours, however, time is brain. Therefore, call 911 and go to the nearest certified stroke center if you are experiencing symptoms. 

Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), also known as "mini-strokes,” can also be an indication of a future stroke event. TIAs are temporary blockages of blood flow to the brain and last only minutes before symptoms resolve on their own. While TIAs usually don’t cause permanent damage to the brain, they are often precursors for larger strokes in the near future. How long symptoms last is connected to the chance of it turning into a complete stroke. Therefore, it's important to take such seemingly minor episodes seriously and get medical attention right away. 

Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke could mean life or death for someone you care about. Acting quickly by recognizing the warning signs could potentially save a life! By understanding more about strokes and their warning signals, you can take timely action that could make all the difference when it comes to saving lives. 

What To Do if You Think You or a Loved One Is Having a Stroke 

If you suspect that you or a loved one is having a stroke, it is essential to get medical attention immediately. In the case of a stroke, every minute counts, so don’t wait to call 911. Upon arriving at the hospital, doctors will be able to determine whether it’s a stroke or other medical emergency and provide the necessary treatments. 

When seeking help for a potential stroke, there are some steps you can take to ensure you receive timely and appropriate care. First, it’s important to identify any risk factors that may have contributed to the stroke. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking habits, a family history of strokes, and age. Knowing these factors can help doctors narrow down possible diagnoses and choose the most appropriate treatment plan.  

Second, write down any symptoms that may have occurred before or during the incident in order to better communicate with doctors. Thirdly, the person who is potentially having a stroke should try not to move or speak too much while waiting for help, as this could worsen the situation by increasing blood flow to the brain. Lastly, if possible, bring along someone who has been present during the event so that they can provide additional information about what happened prior to arrival at the hospital. 

By taking these steps when seeking medical attention for a potential stroke victim, you can ensure that they receive timely and proper care that could potentially save their life! 

Ways To Prevent a Stroke

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Stroke prevention is key to keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. There are a few key steps you can take to reduce your risk of having a stroke

First, it's important to maintain a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eating a well-balanced diet can help keep your blood pressure at an optimal level and reduce inflammation in the body—both of which are associated with strokes. It's also important to avoid smoking or drinking alcohol excessively, as these habits can increase your risk of having a stroke. 

Second, be sure to get regular exercise, such as walking, jogging, swimming, or weight training. Exercise helps strengthen your heart and arteries while reducing stress levels and encouraging healthy blood circulation throughout the body. Regular exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which is another way to prevent stroke. 

By quitting smoking and cutting down on drinking, people can play a big part in reducing the impact of strokes. Making these changes in their lives not only leads to better health in general, but also lowers the chances of having a stroke, helping everyone stay healthier. 

Finally, it's important for people with high blood pressure or other medical conditions associated with stroke risk (such as diabetes) to take their medications properly and follow up regularly with their doctor if needed. Taking proper care of any underlying health conditions can go a long way in preventing strokes. 

By following these simple steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage any existing medical conditions, you can significantly lessen your chances of having a stroke—and potentially save lives! 

Key Takeaways

It's important to know the warning signs and symptoms of a stroke, as well as the things that could make you more likely to have one. Know what to do if you think someone is having a stroke. Don't wait to call 911 if you think someone is having a stroke. Also, there are some easy things you can do to prevent strokes from happening in the first place. These include eating a healthy diet, working out regularly, not smoking or drinking too much alcohol, and taking care of any health problems you already have. By carefully following these tips and being aware of possible warning signs, we can all do a lot to lower our risk of stroke and, in the end, save lives. 

Broward Health, providing service for more than 85 years, is a nationally recognized system in South Florida that offers world-class healthcare to all. The Broward Health system includes the statutory teaching hospital Broward Health Medical Center, Broward Health North, Broward Health Imperial Point, Broward Health Coral Springs, Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston, Broward HealthPoint, Broward Health Physician Group, Broward Health Urgent Care, Broward Health International, and Broward Health Foundation. For more information, visit BrowardHealth.org.