Common Stroke Signs and Symptoms


The following signs and symptoms are seen in both men and women, according to the National Stroke Association, and include sudden:

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

Women may report unique stroke symptoms, including sudden:

  • face and limb pain

  • hiccups

  • nausea

  • general weakness

  • chest pain

  • shortness of breath

  • palpitations

Clot Retrieval Stroke Video


Clot-retrieval is a procedure that can break-up a clot and remove it from the brain after the onset of stroke symptoms. When IV clot busting agents are not effective or cannot be used, clot retrieval procedures help to save as many brain cells as possible by removing the blockage in the artery. HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is the only facility in the area to offer this state-of-the-art procedure. As a Certified Primary Stroke Center, the hospital has also earned a Gold Performance Achievement Award from the American Stroke Association.

Stroke Resources


On average, every four minutes someone dies of stroke.

How to Identify a Stroke: BE FAST

When a stroke occurs, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it begins to die. Brain function, future abilities and life itself are threatened every minute a stroke goes untreated. Every minute the brain is without oxygen, 2 million brain cells die.


Stroke can be caused by:

  • a clot obstructing blood flow to the brain (ischemic stroke)
  • a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain (hemorrhagic stroke)
  • a temporary clot called a TIA (transient ischemic attack), or “mini stroke.”

What Can You Do To Prevent Stroke?


The risk factors for stroke can be divided into two categories: those you can’t change and those you can.

What you can’t control

  • Age—your chances of stroke go up as you age

  • Gender—men have a slightly higher risk than women

  • Race—African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American people are at higher risk for stroke

  • Family history—if your immediate family member has had a stroke, your risk increases

What you can control

  • Get your blood pressure and cholesterol under control

  • Reduce the amount of salt and fat in your diet 

  • Exercise more

  • Stop smoking

  • Keep your weight in control

  • Limit alcohol use