A stroke is a “brain attack.” A stroke is a condition that occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel or when a blood vessel ruptures, interrupting blood flow to the brain. This leads to destruction of brain cells in the immediate area where blood flow is compromised within minutes. In fact, during a stroke, 2 million brain cells die every minute.
A chemical reaction occurs that also endangers cells in the surrounding area where blood flow is limited, but not completely stopped. These cascading events occur rapidly, creating a limited amount of time for effective treatment. When brain cells die, normal bodily functions controlled by the dying brain are lost.
Therefore, it is critical for stroke victims to obtain emergency treatment aimed at re-establishing blood flow and reducing the amount of damage from stroke. Time is brain. Every second counts in minimizing the amount of brain function that can be lost due to stroke.
Warning signs of stroke
The signs or symptoms of a stroke appear suddenly, without warning. If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms, act quickly and call 911.
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
Emergency stroke care
A stroke is an emergency that requires rapid assessment and evaluation to maximize the benefits of treatment and reduce brain damage. The emergency department at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Irving offers emergent stroke services and is accredited by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center.
“Brain attack” protocols (treatment plans the medical community has determined to be appropriate treatment) help provide eligible patients with the “clot-busting” therapy called TPA without delay to restore blood flow to the brain. Neurology consultations are conducted via our telemedicine robot and our laboratory and radiology services. All operate 24 hours a day for stroke patients.