1) Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
2) Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
3) Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
4) Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
5) Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
* Not all of the warning signs occur in every stroke. Do NOT ignore the signs of a stroke even if they go away!
What to do
1)Check the time. When did the first warning sign or symptom start? You'll be asked this important question later.
2)If you have one or more stroke symptoms that last more than a few minutes, don't delay! Immediately call 9-1-1 or the emergency medical service (EMS) number so an ambulance (ideally with advanced life support) can quickly be sent for you.
3)If you're with someone who may be having stroke symptoms, immediately call 9-1-1 or the EMS. Expect the person to protest — denial is common. Don't take "no" for an answer. Insist on taking prompt action.
Things to Think About
1)Always be prepared for an emergency.
2)Keep a list of emergency rescue service numbers next to the telephone and in your pocket, wallet or purse.
3)Know (in advance) which hospital or medical facility is nearest your home or office.
4)Keep all your medical information in an easily accessible place, so that you can grab it and go. This includes your complete medical/surgical history (including hospital stays with the dates and what they were for), what medications you are currently taking (keep this updated when you have a change in your medications), a list of your allergies, especially to medications and what reactions you have to them, and a list of all of your doctors and their phone numbers. This information is very important and can impact how quickly the doctors can start your care. It's also not unusual to forgot important details like this when you are under stress.
5)If you have children or an adult that needs taken care of, make these arrangements ahead of time. Make sure they know who their emergency caretaker is. Have the name, phone number and address written down, so their is no question who that person is.
6)If you have pets, know who is willing to care for them if you are admitted to the hospital. Once you are settled in the hospital, give them a call.
For more stroke information, call the American Stroke Association at 1-888-4-STROKE or visit their Web site.
*most of the above information is from the American Heart Association website. Please check there for more information.