Health Watch - Stroke: Noticing Signs

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’re talking about stroke, in recognition of American Stroke Month. Previously, we discussed how important it is to get treatment for a stroke within three hours. The person having the stroke may not be aware something is wrong, so it’s important to learn to recognize possible signs of a stroke in others.

Dr. Mark Johnson, a neurologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says if you suspect someone is having a stroke, you can conduct a simple three-question test: Ask the person to smile. Ask the person to raise both arms. And ask the person to say a simple sentence, such as “My name is ...” If the person can’t do any of these things, call 911 immediately. Conduct this test if a person suddenly seems confused or uncoordinated or complains of a sudden, severe headache. It’s important not to delay seeking treatment because the sooner the patient is treated, the less long-term damage there is likely to be.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in neurosciences.


May 2009

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