Stroke & Aneurysm Care

Know the Signs of a Stroke or Aneurysm

When it comes to a stroke, nothing is more important than time. A rapid response from skilled specialists can make all the difference. Know the symptoms and signs of a stroke or aneurysm and get help as soon as possible.

Remember the signs of a stroke and BE FAST. Call 911 right away if you experience these symptoms:

  • B – Sudden loss of balance
  • E – Loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • F – Facial drooping, usually on one side
  • A – Arm drift (one arm hangs or drifts down)
  • S – Slurred speech
  • T – Time to call 911 now

Women may also experience different stroke symptoms, such as fainting, difficulty breathing and seizures.

When an aneurysm bursts, you’ll feel a sudden and extreme headache. Some call it the worst headache of their life. Call 911 immediately if you suspect you have an aneurysm.


What Are Strokes and Aneurysms?

A stroke can happen when the blood supply to the brain is cut off. When this occurs, the brain cells in the affected area start to die.

There are two different types of strokes:

  • Ischemic stroke: A common type of stroke caused by the blockage of an artery or vein, or a blood clot.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke: A ruptured blood vessel, often resulting from a brain aneurysm, causes this less common type of stroke. An aneurysm is a bulging, weakened blood vessel.

An aneurysm is a bulging, weakened blood vessel. It can be present from birth (congenital) or caused by high blood pressure or atherosclerotic disease.


Stroke and Aneurysm Treatment

While strokes and aneurysms can cause long-term disabilities, newer treatments are lowering the risk of lasting damage. You can receive cutting-edge care at Sanford Health, including less invasive procedures that offer shorter recovery times.

Depending on the type of stroke or aneurysm, your treatment may include:

  • Stroke prevention: We work with you to manage carotid artery disease, a buildup of cholesterol in the blood vessels of the brain and neck. We can help you make lifestyle changes to prevent future strokes.
  • Clot-busting drugs: Called tissue plasminogen activators (tPA), these medicines break up blood clots and improves blood flow to the brain.
  • Endovascular procedures: During these procedures, we insert a thin, hollow tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in the groin, thread the catheter to the brain with the help of X-ray guidance and use the catheter to deliver medication or remove a clot.
  • Brain aneurysm coiling: During this endovascular procedure, we insert tiny coils to prevent an aneurysm from rupturing.
  • Neurosurgery: We offer complex neurosurgery options, such as microvascular clipping. This procedure cuts off blood flow to an aneurysm and prevents further damage.

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