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The following are the most common stroke warning signs. These may be sudden and include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden trouble speaking or understanding, confused
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Women may report unique stroke symptoms, including:

  • Sudden face and limb pain 
  • Sudden hiccups 
  • Sudden nausea 
  • Sudden general weakness 
  • Sudden chest pain 
  • Sudden shortness of breath 
  • Sudden palpitations 

Go to the ER immediately if experiencing any of the symptoms. Time is brain tissue.

Medical Conditions that Can Increase the Risk of Stroke

  • Previous stroke or "mini-stroke", also known as a transient ischemic attack or TIA
  • High blood pressure (hypertension is one of the leading risks for heart disease and stroke)
  • Heart disease, especially atrial fibrillation (a-fib)

What to Do if You Suspect Someone is Having a Stroke

B.E. F.A.S.T and call 911 if you suspect someone is having stroke. Be sure to look for these symptoms:
B – Balance. Is there a loss of balance?  Try asking the person to walk in a straight line.
E – Eyes. Are they seeing double or cannot see out of one eye?
F – Face. Is one side of the face drooping?
A – Arm. Does one arm drift downward when both arms are lifted?
S – Speech. Are they slurring their words?
T – Time. When did the symptoms begin? Be sure to give this information to the paramedics.

Read patient stories about stroke care at Boone Hospital Center at MyBooneHealth Blog.

Learn more about stroke awareness and take a quiz!

Contact Neurology at 573.815.8000

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