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Stroke Program

Helping patients regain function and independence following a stroke or neurological disorder



Senior African American man with headache looking at the camera

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is a brain injury caused when a blood vessel to the brain becomes blocked or bursts, cutting off blood flow and oxygen to the brain.

There are three types of strokes:

An Ischemic Stroke is caused by a blocked artery.  This is the most common type of stroke and can sometimes be treated with clot busting drugs.

A Hemmorrhagic Stroke is caused by bleeding into the brain tissue.  This stroke is caused by a ruptured blood vessel.

A TIA, or Transient Ischemic Attack, is also called a ‘mini-stroke’ and occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery for a short time. The symptoms of a TIA are like the warning signs of a stroke, but they usually last only a few minutes. About 10% of strokes are preceded by TIA’s and a very strong predictor of stroke risk. TIAs are a medical emergency and should be treated immediately.

CT scan of bainn, Intracerebral hemorrhages.

Stroke symptoms are sudden and may include:

  • Weakness or numbness in the face, arms or legs, especially on one side of the body
  • Trouble seeing out of one or both eyes
  • Trouble talking or understanding what others are saying
  • Severe headache for no known reason
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination or balance

When it comes to recognizing the signs of a stroke, remember this message: Time is brain.

A stroke interrupts the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. Once the stroke starts, brain cells begin to die. However, fast medical treatment can halt a stroke as it’s occurring.

Most strokes are caused by blood clots. If you get to the hospital quickly, a clot-busting medication called tissue plasminogen activator or TPA may help. TPA should be given within 4½ hours of a stroke’s onset. Call 911 at the first sign of stroke.

WARNING SIGNS OF STROKE: ACT F.A.S.T.

RMC wants you to know the warning signs of stroke.  A good way to remember the warning signs of stroke is the acronym, F.A.S.T:

F

Face numbness or weakness on one side of body

A

Arm numbness or weakness on one side of body

S

Speech slurred or difficulty speaking or understanding

T

Time to immediately call 911

To schedule an appointment with RMC Neurology team, please call 256-236-1303 to make an appointment with Sharman Sanders, MD or Jessica Vincent, MD, for your neurological disorders and concerns.