The Joint Commission

Stroke Information

What is a stroke?

A stroke results when the blood flow to the brain decreases or stops.  It can create permanent damage to the brain.

What are the symptoms?

Willis-Knighton uses the acronym developed by the American Stroke Association to help people recognize signs of a stroke.

BALANCE dizzy, unsteady

EYES vision loss

FACE drooping

ARM weakness

SPEECH difficulty

TIME to call 9-1-1

How is a stroke treated?

When a stroke is diagnosed and treated quickly, the symptoms will typically be greatly improved. Treatment will vary, based on the type, severity, and time of onset of the stroke. After the stroke has been diagnosed and possibly treated, the healthcare team will run tests to find possible causes and develop a plan to prevent future strokes. The patient then moves on to the rehabilitation phase.

What are the risk factors for stroke?

Although someone without risk factors can have a stroke, people with the following risk factors are more likely to have one:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet (high in trans fat, saturated fat and low in vegetables and fibers)
  • Limited exercise/activity
  • Illegal drug use
  • Pregnancy
  • Preeclampsia
  • Migraine headaches
  • Birth control
  • Hormone replacement therapy long-term
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Chronic depress/anxiety