Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Stroke facts
- What is a stroke?
- What causes a stroke?
- What are the risk factors for stroke?
- What is a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
- What is the impact of strokes?
- What are stroke symptoms?
- What should be done if you suspect you or someone else is having a stroke?
- How is a stroke diagnosed?
- What is the treatment of a stroke?
- What complications can occur after a stroke?
- What can be done to prevent a stroke?
- What is in the future for stroke treatment?
- Stroke FAQs
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What is the impact of strokes?
In the United States, stroke is the third largest cause of death (behind heart disease and all forms of cancer). The cost of strokes is not just the billions of dollars lost in work, hospitalization, and the care of survivors in nursing homes, but more importantly, the loss of independence that occurs in 30% of the survivors. For some individuals, what was a self-sustaining and an enjoyable lifestyle prior to the stroke, has been lost. Family members and friends may have their lives altered as they find themselves in the new role as caregivers.
What are stroke symptoms?
When brain cells are deprived of oxygen, they cease to perform their usual tasks. The symptoms that follow a stroke depend on the area of the brain that has been affected and the amount of brain tissue damage.
Small strokes may not cause any symptoms, but can still damage brain tissue. These are referred to as silent strokes. According to The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), these are the five major signs of stroke:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body. The loss of voluntary movement and/or sensation may be complete or partial. There may an associated tingling sensation in the affected area.
- Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding. Sometimes weakness in the muscles of the face can cause drooling.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
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