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Stroke Signs & Risk Factors

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a stop in blood flow to the brain. It could be caused by a blocked blood vessel or bleeding in the brain.

Signs of a stroke


Every 45 seconds an American has a stroke. Know the signs and get treatment quickly. Getting treatment within 60 minutes can prevent disability and increase your chances of survival.

Stroke Information for Patient and Family

For more information, please download our stroke education packet. Among the topics discussed include:

  • how strokes are treated
  • the differences between right and left-sided strokes
  • what patients and caregivers can expect after surviving a stroke

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  • Sudden weakness/numbness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Sudden problems with walking or balance.

Stroke risk factors

80% of strokes are preventable. 

Controllable risk factors:

  • Quit smoking
  • Decrease alcohol consumption
  • Exercise and watch your diet
  • Maintain low cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • If you have diabetes, control your blood sugar
  • See your doctor regularly

Non-controllable risk factors:

  • Family history and race
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Previous stroke or heart attack

View the Stroke Risk Scorecard (PDF) from the National Stroke Association to assess your risk.

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Hear from our patient

“It is so important to be treated as soon as possible if having a stroke,” said Kathryn, 50, who had awakened with a blinding headache a few days before her medical emergency in September 2012. Kathryn, from Annandale, made a nearly full recovery. “I don’t think it could’ve been any faster. The care at St. Cloud Hospital was excellent and having Dr. Suri’s expertise is such a blessing,” Kathryn said.