A stroke is sometimes called a ‘brain attack,’ and happens when blood stops flowing to the brain. When blood stops flowing to the brain, brain cells start to die because they’re not getting enough oxygen. This can cause the permanent loss of function in certain parts of your body (depending on where in the brain the cells died).
When blood stops flowing to the brain, that part of the brain isn’t able to function. About 80% of strokes are ischemic strokes.
When a blood vessel bursts in the brain, blood leaks into the brain causing swelling which puts pressure on the surrounding brain tissue. The swelling and pressure disrupts brain function and can damage brain tissue
In some cases, individuals experience a ‘warning stroke,’ which is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain, so symptoms go away on their own, often after just a few minutes. This is a transient ischemic attack, or TIA, which is sometimes referred to as a ‘mini stroke’ but more appropriately referred to as a ‘warning stroke.’ Warning strokes provide the opportunity to start treatment to prevent a future stroke. It’s very important to seek medical care immediately and call 9-1-1.
Although strokes can happen to anyone, there are certain things that can increase your risk for a stroke.
If you think someone is having a stroke, BE FAST.
Note when the symptoms first started and tell the emergency responders.