Updates for the Week
News Around Lynnhaven
Lost & Found
Ladies Book Club
Useful Internet Links
You and Your Computer
(Right click on Webmaster
link to get email address)
announcement, group activity, or feature article
Report broken links or to correct information
Report your changed
e-mail address or phone #
Click on images with blue borders to enlarge them,
Click on a link (blue
to go to that spot on the website or to another website,
Click on the Back button
(top of screen)
to return to this view or
What is a Stroke?
Types of Strokes
Symptoms of a Stroke
Critical Gender Differences
After Calling 9-1-1
Risk Factors for Stroke
Risk Factors for Women
What is a Stroke?
Stroke is a medical emergency
3rd leading cause of death in the U.S.
It occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts or, more commonly, when a
blockage develops. Without treatment, cells in the brain quickly begin
to die. The result can be serious disability or death. If a
loved one is having stroke symptoms,
seek emergency medical attention without delay. Getting to a hospital quickly is
vital for a good outcome with a stroke.
A stroke usually happens suddenly but may occur over hours. For example, you
may have mild weakness at first. Over time, you may not be able to move the arm
and leg on one side of your body.
There are two kinds of strokes: Ischemic and
Types of Stroke
Symptoms of an ischemic stroke (caused by a blood clot) vary from one person
to another, but symptoms usually occur in the side of the body opposite from the
side of the brain where the clot occurred. For example, a stroke in the
right side of the brain affects the left side of the body.
Symptoms of a stroke may be so minor that they are ignored or go unnoticed. Some people have symptoms that go away after a short time. This could be
caused by a
transient ischemic attack, or
TIA. A TIA is a warning sign that a
stroke may soon follow.
The symptoms of a hemorrhagic stroke (caused by bleeding in the brain) are
usually the same as those from a blood clot. But you also may have other
symptoms, such as:
- Severe headache, sometimes in a
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Neck stiffness.
- Dizziness, seizures, or changes in mental state,
such as irritability, confusion, and possibly unconsciousness.
Hemorrhagic strokes usually occur during the daytime and during physical
activity. Symptoms of a hemorrhagic stroke usually begin very suddenly
(within seconds) and get worse over several hours.
Symptoms of a Stroke
Stroke is a medical emergency. Know these warning signs. Every second counts:
- Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness
or paralysis of the
face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden vision changes.
- Sudden trouble speaking or slurred
- Sudden confusion
understanding simple statements.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of
- Sudden, severe headache that is
different from past headaches, with no
There are two methods of quickly determining whether someone has had a
stroke: F.A.S.T. and S.T.R.
Use the letters in
F.A.S.T. to spot stroke signs and
know when to call 9-1-1.
Drooping. Does one side of the face
droop or is it numb?
Weakness. Is one arm weak or numb?
is it slurred?
to Call 9-1-1.
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by
three simple questions using the
Ask the individual to
Ask the person to
to speak a simple sentence
coherently. (e.g., It is sunny out today.)
Ask him or her to
New Sign of a Stroke: Stick
out your tongue.
If the tongue is crooked or goes to one side,
that is also an indication of a stroke.
If the person has trouble with any
one of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and
describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
will tell you that if they can get to a stroke victim
within 3 hours, they can
totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. The trick is getting a stroke
recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3
hours, which is tough.
Critical Differences Between
Women and Men
cases, using either of these methods is sufficient to get help quickly, but
sometimes they aren't. Women may experience different symptoms than men,
which may cause delays in getting treatment, leading to higher chances of brain
damage, long-term disability, and the higher death rates among women when it
comes to strokes.
often occurring in Women
often occurring in Men
Women may report symptoms not often associated with strokes.
- Nausea or vomiting
- General weakness
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Fainting or losing consciousness
- Confusion, disorientation, or lack of responsiveness
- Sudden behavioral changes, especially increased agitation
Because these symptoms are unique to women,
it may be difficult to immediately connect them to stroke, which may
Men and women can have some of the same signs and symptoms of stroke
(see above). However, some stroke symptoms occur more often in men.
- Drooping on one side of the face or an uneven smile
- Slurred speech or difficulty speaking
- Trouble understanding speech
- Arm weakness or muscle weakness on one side of the body
While some symptoms may differ between men and women, its
equally important for both to be able to spot a stroke early and get
Call 9-1-1 immediately if you experience
symptoms because time lost is a brain lost.
If unsure whether it might be a stroke, still call 9-1-1. Once paramedics
arrive, they can assess your symptoms and begin treatment, if needed.
don't be fooled if the person can converse with you or the
Paramedics to some degree.
Even if blood pressure readings
are normal and the person doesn't appear to be having a
stroke, they may be having one.
this information is from
healthline: Everything You Need to Know About Stroke.
Risk Factors for Women.
Risk Factors for Stroke
Certain diseases or conditions increase
your risk of stroke. These include:
Certain behaviors can increase your
risk of stroke. These include:
- Physical inactivity
- Being overweight
Diet with few
fruits and vegetables.
Research suggests that people who eat more fruits, vegetables, fish,
and whole grains (for example, brown rice) may have a lower risk of stroke
than people who eat lots of red meat, processed foods like lunch meat,
and refined grains like white flour.
- Diet with too much salt A healthy diet includes less than 2,300 mg of
sodium a day (about one teaspoon).
- Use of some medicines, such as
birth control pills especially by women who smoke or have a history of
blood-clotting problems. In postmenopausal women,
hormone replacement therapy has been shown to slightly increase
the risk of stroke.
- Heavy use of alcohol. People who drink alcohol excessively,
especially people who binge drink, are more likely to have a stroke.
Binge drinking is defined as drinking more than 5 drinks in a short period
Illegal drug use (such as a stimulant, like
Risk factors you cannot change include:
- Age. The risk of stroke increases with age.
- Race. African Americans, Native Americans, and Alaskan Natives
have a higher risk than those of other races. Compared with whites, African
Americans have about 2 times the risk of a first
ischemic stroke. And African-American men and women are more likely to die from stroke.
- Gender. Stroke is more common in men than women until age 75, when more
women than men have strokes. Because women live longer than men, more women
than men die of stroke.
- Family history. The risk for stroke is greater if a parent, brother, or
sister has had a stroke or
transient ischemic attack (TIA).
For more information, see the topic
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA).
- History of stroke or TIA.
Treatments for Stroke
Treatment is determined by the type of stroke you have, whether you're having
an ischemic stroke or a stroke that involves bleeding into the brain
To treat an ischemic stroke, doctors must quickly restore blood flow to your
brain. This may be done with:
- Emergency IV medication.
Therapy with drugs that can break up a clot has to be given within 4.5 hours
from when symptoms first started if given intravenously. The sooner these
drugs are given, the better. Quick treatment not only improves your chances
of survival but also may reduce complications.
An IV injection of
recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) also called alteplase (Activase)
is the gold standard treatment for ischemic stroke. An injection of
tPA is usually given
through a vein in the arm with the first three hours. Sometimes,
tPA can be given up to
4.5 hours after stroke symptoms started. It restores blood flow by
dissolving the blood clot causing your stroke. By quickly removing the cause
of the stroke, it may help people recover more fully from a stroke. Your
doctor will consider certain risks, such as potential bleeding in the brain,
to determine if tPA is
appropriate for you.
- Emergency endovascular procedures.
Doctors sometimes treat ischemic strokes directly inside the blocked blood
vessel. Endovascular therapy has been shown to significantly improve
outcomes and reduce long-term disability after ischemic stroke. These
procedures must be performed as soon as possible:
- Medications delivered directly to the brain.
Doctors insert a long, thin tube (catheter) through an artery in your
groin and thread it to your brain to deliver
tPA directly where the
stroke is happening. The time window for this treatment is somewhat
longer than for injected tPA,
but is still limited.
- Removing the clot with a stent retriever. Doctors
can use a device attached to a catheter to directly remove the clot from
the blocked blood vessel in your brain. This procedure is particularly
beneficial for people with large clots that can't be completely
dissolved with tPA.
This procedure is often performed in combination with injected
The time window when these procedures can be considered has been
expanding due to newer imaging technology. Doctors may order perfusion
imaging tests (done with CT or
MRI) to help determine how
likely it is that someone can benefit from endovascular therapy.
decrease your risk of having another stroke or
attack (TIA), your doctor may recommend a procedure to open up an artery
that's narrowed by plaque. Options vary depending on your situation, but
- Carotid endarterectomy. Carotid arteries are the
blood vessels that run along each side of your neck, supplying your
brain (carotid arteries) with blood. This surgery removes the plaque
blocking a carotid artery, and may reduce your risk of ischemic stroke.
A carotid endarterectomy also involves risks, especially for people with
heart disease or other medical conditions.
- Angioplasty and stents. In an angioplasty, a
surgeon threads a catheter to your carotid arteries through an artery in
your groin. A balloon is then inflated to expand the narrowed artery.
Then a stent can be inserted to support the opened artery.
Emergency treatment of hemorrhagic stroke focuses on controlling the bleeding
and reducing pressure in your brain caused by the excess fluid. Treatment
- Emergency measures. If you take blood-thinning
medications to prevent blood clots, you may be given drugs or transfusions
of blood products to counteract the blood thinners' effects. You may also be
given drugs to lower the pressure in your brain (intracranial pressure),
lower your blood pressure, prevent spasms of your blood vessels and prevent
- Surgery. If the area of bleeding is large, your doctor
may perform surgery to remove the blood and relieve pressure on your brain
or repair blood vessel problems. Your doctor may recommend one of these procedures after
a stroke or if an aneurysm, arteriovenous malformation (AVM) or other type
of blood vessel problem caused your hemorrhagic stroke:
- Surgical clipping, placing a tiny clamp at the
base of the aneurysm to stop blood flow to it, to keep it from bursting, or
keeping it from bleeding again.
- Coiling (endovascular embolization), using a catheter
inserted into an artery in your groin and guided to your brain and placing tiny detachable coils into the aneurysm to fill it,
blood flow into the aneurysm and causing blood to clot.
- Surgical arteriovenous
removal if located in an accessible area of the brain to remove a smaller
AVM, eliminating the risk of rupture and
lowering the risk of a hemorrhagic stroke. However, it's not always possible if it's
located deep within the brain, is large, or its removal would cause too
much impact on brain function.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery to repair blood vessel malformations, using multiple beams of
highly-focused radiation. It is an advanced, minimally
Most of this information is from the
Mayo Clinic's article on strokes.
Back to Top of Page