What Happens When Someone Has a Stroke?

In its most basic terms, stroke is death of the brain. Strokes usually occur due to one of two reasons: either a clot is blocking blood flow to the brain, or blood is leaking into brain tissue.

Experiencing a stroke often causes sudden change of behavior or the onset of fairly obvious symptoms. For example, depending on which side of the brain a stroke happens in, patients may experience a loss of motor coordination in just one side of the body.

“If you have sudden onset of speech problems, you can’t understand speech or you can’t speak, you have weakness on one side of your body, your dropping things, you have some very strange numbness in your face, arm or leg, you need to get to the hospital immediately.

In the Catholic Health system, no matter where you go you will get instant access to our 24/7 365 team of stroke professionals. That includes not only a neurologist, but neurosurgeons and the best neurocritical care physicians in the region.”

Lee R Guterman, MD

Neurosurgery, Catholic Health

Neurologists often recommend asking a person suspected of stroke to lift both of their arms – one arm may drift downward. Other giveaways may include:

  • Drooping of one side of the face
  • Blurriness or impaired vision in the eye
  • Trouble balancing or holding oneself upright

Without full brain function, stroke patients will have trouble effectively communicating to those around them. This may be demonstrated through slurred speech or trouble conveying a thought.

The experts at Catholic Health recommend using the acronym B.E. F.A.S.T. to remember the signs that someone may be experiencing a stroke. Each letter represents a common stroke symptom that would indicate you should seek emergency medical help immediately. To learn more about what it means to BE FAST, click here.

Long-Term Side Effects of Stroke

As the saying goes, time is brain. Not only does a stroke become more life-threatening the longer symptoms are left untreated, but the likeliness that effects from brain damage become permanent increases as well. 

Each case is different, but some long-term side effects reported after stroke are:

  • Paralysis or limited mobility on one side of the body
  • Aphasia 
  • Memory loss 
  • Reduced or impaired vision 

Stroke survivors and their caregivers don’t have to cope with these side effects alone. There are many stroke care resources available. Give us a call at (716) 706-2112 to find stroke therapy services and/or a stroke support group near you.

Find a Neurologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2112

Find a Neurologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2112