Overview of Stroke
A stroke, or brain attack, happens when blood flow to your brain is stopped. It is an emergency situation. The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to work well. If blood supply is stopped even for a short time, this can cause problems. Brain cells begin to die after just a few minutes without blood or oxygen, and when brain cells die, brain function is lost.
Find out how stroke care is evolving to improve patient recovery.
There are three types of stroke:
- Ischemic, caused by a blockage
- Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), caused by a temporary blockage and also referred to as a mini stroke
- Hemorrhagic, caused by a weakened blood vessel bursting. Aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations can cause a hemorrhagic stroke, but the most common source of hemorrhagic stroke is uncontrolled high blood pressure.
Uncontrollable Risk Factors for Stroke:
- Females have more strokes than males
- Stroke can occur at any age, but the risk doubles every decade from age 65
- Family history
- African Americans have a higher risk of stroke than Caucasians
- A previous stroke
Controllable Risk Factors for Stroke:
- Manage chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, sickle cell disease, and diabetes
- Sedentary lifestyle
An easy way to notice warning signs of a stroke is BEFAST:
- Balance - Sudden dizziness or loss of balance
Eyes - Sudden loss or changes in vision in one or both eyes
Face - Facial droop, uneven smile
Arm - Arm numbness or weakness
Speech - Slurred speech, difficulty speaking or understanding
Time - Time to get help immediately
There is no cure for stroke once it has occurred, but advanced medical and surgical treatments are available. These can help reduce your risk for another stroke. Treatment for stroke is most effective when started right away, so it's important to know the signs of stroke and call 911 immediately if you suspect a stroke.
Treatment plans for patients will be determined by their care team based on age, medical history, type of stroke and personal preferences. Options may include:
- Carotid endarterectomy
- Carotid stenting
- Patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure
- Surgery to repair aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).
- Thrombolytic Therapy
Several Baylor Scott & White Health locations are designated as centers qualified to care for strokes.
The following facilities are designated as Primary Stroke Centers:
The following facility has been designated as a Level III-Stroke Support Center: