Health Watch – Early Warning: Stroke

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about early warnings that can lead to earlier treatment and better outcomes. When it comes to a stroke, every second counts — or, as doctors say, time is brain. A stroke kills brain cells by cutting off blood supply, so treatment as soon as possible is essential for saving brain cells.

Dr. Mark Johnson, a neurologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says that’s why it’s so important to recognize stroke symptoms. Symptoms include numbness, dizziness, mental confusion, vision problems, trouble with coordination or severe headache — all coming on suddenly. You can recognize a stroke in someone else by asking the person to smile, raise both arms and complete a simple sentence. If the person can’t do any of these, call 911 immediately. There are stroke treatments that can prevent serious damage, but they must start within a few hours, so don’t delay.

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June 2008

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