The brain is an oxygen guzzler — it uses a full quarter of the body’s entire supply. Because a stroke stops oxygenated blood from getting to the brain, the longer this organ goes without it, the more likely damage will occur.
That’s why prompt stroke treatment is of the utmost importance. You should never ignore the onset of any new neurological problem, but any of these seven requires immediate attention:
• Weakness or numbness on one side of your body
• Drooping on one side of your face
• Difficulty reading or understanding speech
• Slurred speech
• A sudden, extreme headache, often described as “the worst headache” a person has ever had
• The loss of peripheral vision
• Difficulty walking Any one of more of these symptoms should alert you to call 911.
Don’t drive yourself, or ask someone else to drive you. Today’s ambulance crews are trained to bypass local hospitals and take you directly to a comprehensive stroke center
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