During a stroke, 2 million brain cells are lost every minute. At Westlake Hospital, we focus on stroke prevention and treating strokes promptly to prevent death and brain damage. If you think you may be having a stroke, call 911 immediately. Note the time the symptoms began and report them to the treatment team. This information is important because quick medical care can save brain cells and increase the chances of recovery. Westlake Hospital is a Primary Stroke Center accredited by the Joint Commission.
Warning Signs and Symptoms
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is blocked or a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and causes brain cells to die. Symptoms include:
- 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
Act F.A.S.T. to identify signs of a stroke:
Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?
If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Every second counts because brain cells could be dying.
Not every warning sign will occur in every stroke. And even if they do go away, these warning signs should not be ignored. A TIA (transient ischemic attack) is sometimes referred to as a mini-stroke, and produces symptoms similar to a stroke, but only only last for a short time. But TIA symptoms serve as an important warning that a stroke could be imminent, and it’s important to respond the same way to a TIA as you would to stroke symptoms. Call 911 so an ambulance can quickly get the person to the hospital. When talking to 911, an emergency medical service or the hospital, be sure to use the word “stroke” in order to possibly speed up a diagnosis. Every minute counts when treating a stroke, raising the number of brain cells that can be saved and chances for recovery.
The Stroke Support Group at Westlake Hospital
Held on the first Thursday of the month, 11am-Noon
Westlake Senior Center - Professional Office Building
1111 West Superior - 1st Floor
Melrose Park, IL 60160
Stroke can be very isolating, therefore it is important for Stroke Survivors to meet regularly with other members who will help each of them face and overcome common challenges. The stroke support group is a place for stroke survivors and caregivers to make new friends, socialize, gain realistic feedback, help others and find meaning in life that may have been lacking in their lives since their stroke. The Stroke Support Group will be led by Lee Moarn, R.N., B.S.N., Stroke Coordinator, Westlake Hospital. Learn more about stroke, share experiences about stroke and become inspired to move forward after experiencing a stroke.