Experiencing symptoms of a stroke or watching a loved one suffer from a stroke can be scary and confusing.

That’s why it’s so important to familiarize yourself with the warning signs of a stroke to allow you to access treatment quickly if you see or experience them. Every minute counts when you’re dealing with a stroke. It’s always an emergency.

Knowing these signs can produce better outcomes, lead to shorter recovery times, prevent permanent disability and even save a life.

When it comes to strokes, health care professionals encourage people to B.E.FAST. Not only does that phrase stress the need to react quickly, but it also reminds people of these early stroke symptoms:

  • Balance problems
  • Eye and vision problems
  • Facial drooping
  • Arm numbness or weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Time to call 911

What’s a stroke?

A stroke is sometimes mistaken for a problem that occurs in the heart. However, it actually happens in the brain when blood flow is disrupted, either by a blockage or bleeding. Because the brain is then deprived of oxygen, brain cells begin to die within minutes.

Issues can arise if these cells go without oxygen for even a short time. The parts of the body those brain cells control start to lose function, affecting your ability to speak, move, recall facts, control your bowel or bladder or handle emotions.

A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability and even death.

With roughly 795,000 people in the United States experiencing a stroke every year — or about one person every 40 seconds — saving a life means understanding the types of stroke, what causes them and what to do if you or someone near you is having one.

Call 911 immediately if stroke symptoms begin.

Learn more about our Comprehensive Stroke Center

Ohio State is a leader in stroke care

While a stroke can create an alarming situation for patients and their families, if handled appropriately, they’re treatable. That’s where Ohio State’s Comprehensive Stroke Center can help.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center not only employs the best surgeons and stroke specialists to perform state-of-the-art treatments to save your life from a stroke any hour of any day, but we also provide outstanding care in the weeks and months following a stroke to assist you in rebuilding what you might have lost.

With our nationally recognized stroke rehabilitation program, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center offers evidence-based therapies and personalized rehab plans to get you back on your feet and enjoying life.

Ohio State Telestroke Network

As one of the first hospitals in the country and one of only nine in Ohio to be designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and the American Stroke Association, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center continually meets certain patient performance measures, such as how quickly treatment is administered or how often patients are assessed for rehab services, to maintain that distinction.

That’s why hospitals across the state look to Ohio State Wexner Medical Center for guidance in treating strokes. Through the Telestroke Network, Ohio State delivers its critical stroke expertise to 27 rural hospitals statewide.

If you’re taken to one of those rural emergency departments that’s part of the Telestroke Network, our experts can analyze your test results, conduct interviews and prescribe medications in a matter of minutes through video technology. Then, we work with the emergency department staff to determine next steps, including transferring you to Ohio State for more advanced care.

Our stroke team, which includes vascular neurologists, neurocritical care physicians and vascular neurosurgeons, is available around the clock for this program.

With our Telestroke Network, we hope to increase access to lifesaving stroke treatments in underserved areas as well as improve emergency response through education about warning signs and symptoms.

How the Ohio State Telestroke Network saved Jim’s life

Jim Sayer was 100 miles away from Columbus when he had a stroke. Fortunately, his local hospital, Blanchard Valley Hospital, is part of the Ohio State Telestroke Network, which delivers Ohio State’s critical stroke expertise into more than 25 hospitals in Ohio.
Learn more about stroke

Learn more about stroke

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