Am I having a stroke?


“How do I know if I’m having a stroke?”


Excellent question, and actually can be difficult to answer.  Sometimes a stroke is obvious—Completely weak on one side of the body, facial droop on one side, trouble talking.  I think most people would recognize these symptoms and act on them.  Often times, however, I have patients with less classic symptoms who think they have had a stroke.  Confusion, weakness, dizziness, headache, all can be part of a stroke, but sorting it out usually requires a trip to the ER.

To simplify this, the American Academy of Neurology has created a

simple stroke diagnostic aid “Give-Me-Five.”

simple stroke diagnostic aid “Give-Me-Five.”

Walk—Is the patient’s balance off?

Talk—Is the speech slurred or face droopy?

Reach—Is one side weak or numb?

See—Is the vision all or partly lost?

Feel—Is there a severe headache?


If the patient appears to have had a stroke, or it is unclear, the best bet is calling 911, and getting checked out in the ER.

Stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US, and also a huge cause of disability.  Preventing stroke is the key, but if a stroke occurs, prompt medical attention can lessen the damaging effects.

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{ 1 trackback }
10.01.08 at 4:32 pm

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cybil 10.29.08 at 8:23 am

This is great info to know.

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