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What is stroke?

A stroke happens when blood stops flowing to any part of your brain, damaging brain cells. The effects of a stroke depend on the part of the brain that was damaged and the amount of damage done.


FAST signs of Stroke…what are the other signs?

The FAST signs are the most common signs of stroke and they are signs that are more likely to be caused by stroke than any other condition. There are some additional signs of stroke that are less common.


Experience stroke through the eyes of a patient

Would you know if you were having a stroke? Watch how a stroke unfolds through the eyes of someone who is experiencing one. Recognize the signs of stroke. Call 9-1-1 right away. It could save your life.


Stroke Signs FAQs


Are there other signs of stroke?


Yes. The FAST signs are the most common signs of stroke and they are signs that are more likely to be caused by stroke than any other condition. There are some additional signs of stroke that are less common.

They include:

  • Vision changes - blurred or double vision

  • Sudden severe headache - usually accompanied by some of the other signs

  • Numbness - usually on one side of the body

  • Problems with balance

Read more about the other signs here.


What can I expect at the hospital?


The paramedics will take you to the closest hospital with a specialized program for stroke care. They will call ahead so hospital staff are prepared for your arrival. You should receive medical attention soon after you arrive. If you don’t, let the emergency department staff know.

Provide detailed medical history and information about past medical conditions if possible. Knowing the exact time that the stroke signs began is important, because it can help hospital staff decide what treatment is right for you.

A brain scan should be done soon after you arrive, to find out the kind of stroke you experienced. If the stroke was caused by a blood clot, you may benefit from a drug called tPA. It can re-open blocked arteries which reduces the severity of the stroke, helping you recover more fully. tPA must be given as soon as possible and within four and a half hours from the start of symptoms.


What is a mini-stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack)?


TIA (Transient ischemic attack), or “mini-stroke” happens when a clot stops blood from flowing to the brain for a short time. TIA is a medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency immediately. If you are not admitted to a hospital, ask when you will be seen at a stroke clinic and how that is arranged.


How do I know if I’m at risk?


Your risk of stroke depends on your lifestyle habits, like what you eat and whether you are active. Some health conditions - in particular high blood pressure - are significant contributors to risk. And finally, your risk depends on things you can’t control such as age and family history. Our risk assessment tool will help you assess your risk and will provide you with a personal report.


Are women’s signs different than men’s?


The signs of stroke are the same for men and women.

Get a free copy of Your Stroke Journey book

This book provides critical recovery information to guide you after a stroke. If you did not receive yours in the hospital, download now, or contact us to send you a print copy (no charge).

How is stroke treated?

Your treatment will depend on the type of stroke you have, how serious it was, your age and general health, and how soon you arrive at the hospital.


Prevention is key

Prevention starts with knowing your risk. Nine in ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for stroke or heart disease. Almost 80% of premature stroke and heart disease can be  prevented through healthy behaviors. That means that habits like eating healthy, being active and living smoke free, have a big impact on your health. Could you be at risk? Try our free risk assessment


Life after Stroke

Did you or someone you know recently suffer a stroke? Stroke is a major life event. It can affect different parts of your ability and your day to day life.  It affects each person differently.

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Call 9-1-1 for heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest.

Do not hesitate to call 9-1-1, even during the coronavirus pandemic. Hospitals are prepared. Don’t let COVID-19 destroy more lives.





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