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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.

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.


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:


Face numbness or weakness on one side of body


Arm numbness or weakness on one side of body


Speech slurred or difficulty speaking or understanding


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.