Health Watch - Stroke: Warning 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’ve been talking about surgery to prevent stroke. Even if a stroke can’t be prevented, some of the damage from a stroke can be prevented with prompt medical treatment. That requires knowing the signs of a stroke.

There are drugs that can limit the damage from a stroke if they’re given quickly enough after the stroke begins. Dr. Mark Johnson, a neurologist and stroke expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says there are five key signs of stroke to look for in yourself or someone near you.

First, the walk – is the person’s balance off-kilter? Next, the talk – is the speech slurred or the face drooping on one side? Then, the reach – is there weakness or numbness on one side? Fourth, vision – has the person partially or totally lost vision? And finally, pain – is there a sudden, severe headache? If you notice these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Don’t wait to see if things get better because that can delay life-saving treatment. 

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February 2011


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