Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
The symptoms of a stroke depend on what part of the brain and how much of the brain tissue is affected.
Stroke symptoms usually come on suddenly -- in minutes to an hour.
There is usually no pain associated with the symptoms.
The symptoms may come and go, go away totally, or get worse over the course of several hours.
If the symptoms go away completely in a short time (fewer than 24 hours), the episode is called a transient ischemic attack (TIA).
One-third of all strokes occur during sleep, so people first notice the symptoms when they wake up; this situation makes it difficult to time when the stroke actually began.
These are the common symptoms of stroke:
Weakness in the arm or leg or both on the same side: This can range from total paralysis to a very mild weakness. Complete numbness or a pins-and-needles feeling may be present on one side of the body or part of one side of the body.
Weakness in the muscles of the face: The face may droop or look lopsided. Speech may be slurred because the patient can't control the movement of their lips or tongue.
Difficulty speaking: The patient can't speak, speech may be very slurred, or when the person speaks, the words sound fine but do not make sense.
Coordination problems: The patient may seem uncoordinated and stumble or have difficulty walking or difficulty picking up objects.
Dizziness: The patient may feel drunk or dizzy or have difficulty swallowing.
Vision problems: The patient may develop difficulty with vision, such as double vision, loss of peripheral (side) vision, or blindness. (Blurred vision by itself is not usually a symptom of stroke.)
Sudden headache: A sudden, severe headache may strike like "a bolt out of the blue."
Loss of consciousness: The patient may become unconscious or hard to arouse and could die.