A stroke is a sudden loss of brain function caused by the interruption of blood flow to the brain (ischemic stroke) or the rupture of blood vessels in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). The interruption of blood flow or the rupture of blood vessels causes brain cells (neurons) in the affected area to die.
The effects of a stroke depend on where the brain was injured, as well as how much damage occurred. A stroke can impact mobility, sight, memory, speech, reason, and the ability to read and write.
Stroke is a medical emergency. It’s crucial to call 911 or get to an emergency department immediately if experiencing signs of a stroke, even if the symptoms pass.
General symptoms of a stroke include:
- Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
- Sudden vision changes.
- Sudden trouble speaking.
- Sudden confusion or trouble understanding simple statements.
- Sudden problems with walking or balance.
- A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.
F-A-S-T is a simple way to spot the main symptoms of a stroke.
F = Face. Is it drooping?
A = Arms. Can you raise both?
S = Speech. Is it slurred or jumbled?
T= Time. Don’t waste it. Call 911 right away.
Acting quickly can improve your survival and recovery.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.