Stroke signs and symptoms

If you think you're experiencing a stroke, don't wait.

Call 911. Ask to be taken to the nearest certified stroke center.

Know the signs and symptoms and B.E. F.A.S.T.

Stroke can happen to anyone. Know the signs:

  • Balance: Sudden loss of balance or coordination
  • Eyes: Sudden trouble seeing out of one or both eyes
  • Face: Sudden dropping on one side of the face
  • Arms: Sudden weakness in one arm or leg
  • Speech: Sudden trouble with speech or understanding
  • Time: Time to call 911
B.E. F.A.S.T. Stroke Sighs Acronym.

Other stroke symptoms may include dizziness, nausea or vomiting, extreme headache, and difficulties with coordination and swallowing.

Lower your risk and know the signs

Comprehensive stroke care

As a Joint Commission-accredited and certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, Spectrum Health is committed to fostering better outcomes for stroke patients. Our specialized neurovascular team, one of the largest of its kind in Michigan, has the expertise to provide the highest level of medical and surgical stroke treatment. The team consists of:

  • Fellowship-trained, board-certified vascular neurologists and vascular neurosurgeons
  • Neuro-interventional specialists
  • Neurocritical care specialists
  • Neurorehabilitation specialists

Dedicated to quality

Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus
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Hospitals achieving Time to Intravenous Thrombolytic Therapy ≤ 60 minutes in 75% of eligible patient treated in equal to or less than 45 minutes AND 50% of eligible patient treated in equal to or less than 30 minutes to improve quality of patient care and outcomes.

Target: Stroke Honor Roll Advanced Therapy
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Hospitals achieving Door to Needle & Door to Device in ≤ 90 minutes in 50% of patients arriving directly and Door to Needle & Door to Device in ≤ 60 minutes in 50% of transfer patients to improve quality of patient care and outcomes."

Target: Type 2 Diabetes™ Honor Roll – Stroke
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Hospitals that quality for Silver level or higher achievement award in Get With The Guidelines – Stroke and achieve an “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score of ≥ 80%.

Types of stroke

There are two types of stroke: hemorrhagic and ischemic.

Hemorrhagic stroke
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Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures in the brain. This can happen in two different ways:

Intracerebral hemorrhage stroke

Occurs when a blood vessel bleeds into the deep tissue in the brain. Untreated high blood pressure and aging vessels are the main cause.

Subarachnoid hemorrhage stroke

Occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds between the brain and the skull. The most common cause is a ruptured aneurysm (a blood filled pouch that balloons out from an artery wall).

Ischemic stroke
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Ischemic stroke occurs when blood vessels in the brain are clogged or constricted preventing blood flow to the brain. This can happen in two different ways:

Embolic ischemic stroke

Caused by a clot that forms in the heart or the neck arteries and travels to the brain. This type of blood clot often develops from an irregular heartbeat, called atrial fibrillation.

Thrombotic ischemic stroke

Caused by a blood clot (thrombus) in an artery going to the brain. This type of blood clot develops within the artery as a result of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

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