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Stroke or Cerebrovascular Accident

Cerebrovascular accident (stroke or TIA)#

A sudden irreversible (stroke) or a reversible (transient ischemic attacks [TIA]) neurologic event.

Signs and symptoms#


  • Face โ€“ Does one side of the face droop? Ask the patient to smile.
  • Arms โ€“ Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the patient to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech โ€“ Is speech slurred? Ask the patient to repeat a sentence.
  • Time โ€“ If the patient shows any of these symptoms, alert EMS immediately.

Transient ischemic attack#

  • WALK (Is your balance off?)
  • TALK (Is your speech slurred or face droopy?)
  • REACH (Is your vision all or partly lost?)
  • FEEL (Is your headache severe?)


  • DO
    • alert emergency medical services (EMS)
    • when speaking to EMS, use the word "stroke"
    • be calm and reassuring
    • discontinue dental treatment
    • clear the mouth of all foreign objects
    • assess responsiveness
    • evaluate breathing, airway and circulation
    • monitor blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate every 5 min
    • administer supplemental oxygen, 6-8 L/min
    • document the time of the event
    • keep track of signs and symptoms; document exact time when the event aoccurred
  • DO NOT
    • Don't allow the person to drive him or herself to the hospital
    • Don't give the person any medications.
    • Dont' give the person anything to eat


Usually caused by a thrombus, embolism or a ruptured blood vessel in the brain.

Related Pages#