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About 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.

Types of stroke include:

  • 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
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Warning signs and risk factors

Chances of having a stroke can increase based on certain factors.

  • Notice warning signs of a stroke by using BEFAST
  • Uncontrollable Risk Factors for Stroke
  • Controllable Risk Factors for Stroke

Notice warning signs of a stroke by using 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 immediat​ely

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
  • Nutrition/Diet
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

Scrubbing In®

How stroke care is evolving to improve patient recovery

Stroke treatment options

There is no cure for stroke once it has occurred, but advanced medical and surgical stroke 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.

Tratement options for stroke may include:​

  • Surgery​
    • Carotid endarterectomy​
    • Carotid stenting​
    • Craniotomy​
    • Patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure
    • Surgery to repair aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

Stroke centers

Several Baylor Scott & White Health locations are designated as centers qualified to care for strokes.

  • Comprehensive Stroke Centers
  • Primary Stroke Centers
  • Acute Stroke Centers
  • Level III Stroke Support Center
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