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Blood brings oxygen and nutrients to brain cells. A stroke occurs when blood flow is interrupted to part of the brain. Without blood, brain cells quickly begin to die.  Every second that the brain is deprived of oxygen, 32,000 brain cells die. 

Although 85% of stroke victims are eligible for the clot busting drug, tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, only about 5% of patients actually arrive in the hospital within the maximum time of application, which is four hours. 

Stroke can affect different people in different ways. It depends on the type of stroke, the area of the brain affected and the extent of the brain injury. 

Stroke causes many physical and emotional side-effects.  Stroke is the number one cause of serious permanent disability. 

Below are listed some of the more common disabilities that stroke can cause:

bullet lack of sensation
bullet partial or total paralysis  (hemiplegia)
bullet bowel and bladder control
bullet inability to walk and problems with coordination and balance (ataxia)
bullet vision neglect
bullet sexual ability
bullet loss of balance
bullet loss of muscle tone
bullet spasticity
bullet central pain syndrome (thalamic pain)
bullet lack of emotional control (inappropriate laughing or crying)
bullet problems with speech and understanding language (aphasia)
bullet shortened retention spans and difficulty learning new information
bullet inability or difficulty with swallowing
bullet impaired ability to do math or to organize, reason, and analyze items
bullet loss of short-term memory
bullet behavioral changes such as lack of concern about situations, impulsivity, inappropriateness, and depression
bullet coma
bullet death
bullet ... and many more side-effects not mentioned
 

Stroke Warning Signs

bullet Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body   
bullet Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding   
bullet Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes   
bullet Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination   
bullet Sudden, severe headache with no known cause



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Original date 3/1/96 Revised 9/24/14