Home

Home Page \ Emergency Preparedness \stroke warning signs

Red CrossEmergency Preparedness

Stroke Warning Signs

If you notice one or more of these signs, don't wait. Stroke is a medical emergency. Call 9-1-1. You need to be transported toa hospital right away! 

The American Stroke Association wants you to learn the warning signs of stroke:

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

Know the Signs of Stroke... Every second counts

numbness

Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

confusion

Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

trouble-seeing

Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

dizziness

Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

headache

Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

 

Be prepared for an emergency.

  • Keep a list of emergency rescue service numbers next to the telephone and in your pocket, wallet or purse.
  • Find out which area hospitals are primary stroke centers that have 24-hour emergency stroke care.
  • Know (in advance) which hospital or medical facility is nearest your home or office.

Take action in an emergency.

  • Not all the warning signs occur in every stroke. Don't ignore signs of stroke, even if they go away! Call 911
  • Check the time. When did the first warning sign or symptom start? You'll be asked this important question later.
  • If you have one or more stroke symptoms that last more than a few minutes, don't delay! Immediately call 9-1-1 or the emergency medical service (EMS) number so an ambulance (ideally with advanced life support) can quickly be sent for you.
  • If you're with someone who may be having stroke symptoms, immediately call 9-1-1 or the EMS. Expect the person to protest — denial is common. Don't take "no" for an answer. Insist on taking prompt action.

For stroke information, call the American Stroke Association at 1-888-4-STROKE or visit their Web site.