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If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing a stroke, call 911. The vascular experts at Blessing provide prompt medical treatment that minimizes brain damage and saves lives.

Stroke Care: Experience the Blessing Difference

The vascular team at Blessing is nationally recognized for medical excellence in stroke care. We are recognized as a Certified Advanced Primary Stroke Center via the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

Recognizing the Signs of Stroke

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The American Stroke Association recommends the FAST approach for recognizing signs of stroke. FAST stands for:

  • Facial drooping: One side of the face may droop or feel numb. The affected person may have an uneven or lopsided smile.

  • Arm weakness: One arm may droop or feel numb. A person having a stroke may not be able to raise both arms.

  • Speech problems: Speech may be slurred or hard to understand. The affected person may not be able to repeat a simple sentence like “The sky is blue.”

  • Time to call 911: If someone shows any of these symptoms, call for emergency medical care.

Other Signs of Stroke

Additional signs of stroke include:

  • Sudden confusion

  • Vision problems

  • Dizziness

  • Loss of balance or coordination

  • Difficulty walking

  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

  • Numbness or weakness on one side of the body (face, arms or legs)

Types of Strokes

There are several types of strokes:

  • Ischemic stroke, which occurs when a clot blocks blood flow to the brain. This is the most common type of stroke.

  • Hemorrhagic stroke, which happens when an artery in the brain leaks blood or ruptures.

  • Mini-strokes, also called transient ischemic attacks (TIA), occur when a clot temporarily blocks blood flow to the brain. Mini-stroke symptoms are the same as major strokes, but symptoms go away on their own, usually in less than 5 minutes. A mini-stroke is a warning that you are at risk for a major stroke.

Causes of Stroke

Risk factors for stroke include:

  • High blood pressure

  • High blood cholesterol

  • Diabetes

  • Smoking

  • Excess weight

  • Lack of exercise

  • A diet high in fat, cholesterol and sodium

  • Heart disease

  • Arrhythmia

  • Family history of heart disease

Diagnosing a Stroke

In addition to a physical exam and evaluation of symptoms, our specialists use the latest technology to quickly and accurately diagnose strokes. Fast diagnosis leads to fast treatment that minimizes damage to the brain.

Our stroke tests include:

  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: This X-ray procedure reveals bleeding in the brain and damage to brain tissue.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This noninvasive imaging test detects changes in and damage to brain tissue.

  • Carotid angiogram: Your doctor injects contrast dye through a catheter into your carotid arteries, which carry oxygen-rich blood to the head and neck. The dye flows into your blood vessels and any blockages show up on special X-rays.

  • Blood tests: Your doctor may check the number of platelets in your blood. A high platelet count can cause blood clots.  

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG): This procedure measures and records the heart’s electrical activity. It can detect heart problems, such as heart attack, that may have led to stroke.

  • Echocardiogram (echo): This ultrasound procedure shows detailed images of your heart’s function and structure. It can detect possible blood clots inside your heart.

  • Carotid ultrasound: This noninvasive procedure shows plaque buildup in your carotid arteries.

Stroke Treatments

Vascular specialists at Blessing perform a variety of lifesaving stroke treatments. These treatments include:

  • Medications: Clot-busting medicine dissolves clots that are blocking blood flow to the brain. Blood thinners can keep clots from getting bigger and prevent new clots from forming.

  • Surgery: Your doctor may perform a thrombectomy to break up or remove a blood clot in the arteries. Learn more about vascular surgery at Blessing.

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment with a cardiologist, please call 217-214-3424.