What’s a Brain Attack?

When a person has a stroke, or “brain attack,” a blood vessel in the brain or one leading to it, is either blocked by a clot (an ischemic stroke) or ruptures (a hemmorhagic stroke). When that happens, part of the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen and cells in that area begin to die.

In patients that meet strict selection criteria as per AHA and NIH guidelines, administration of the *clot-busting* drug, t-PA, can halt the stroke's progress and even reverse damage. However, it must be administered within three hours of the start of the stroke to be effective and can only be given to someone suffering an ischemic stroke. Knowing the signs of a stroke is crucial so that people can get to a designated stroke center as soon as possible Signs of stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body 

  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause