How to Survive the Worst Type of Stroke
WORST HEADACHE OF YOUR LIFE
While most people can identify the main symptoms of an ischemic stroke (for example, facial drooping…numbness or weakness on one side of the body…and/or trouble speaking), the red flags for hemorrhagic stroke are not as well known.
With hemorrhagic strokes, a sudden, intense headache is usually the main symptom. Sometimes mild headaches can be a warning sign a few days or weeks before this type of stroke. Important: Headache sometimes occurs with an ischemic stroke, but it’s usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as those described above. With a hemorrhagic stroke, additional symptoms may include nausea, vomiting and/or loss of consciousness. Symptoms can overlap, however, with both types of stroke, and only an imaging test can tell the difference.
If you have a severe headache that’s unusual for you:
Call 911. This is particularly true if you have stroke risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure or diabetes.
A lifesaving new finding:
For people suffering a subarachnoid hemorrhage (a type of hemorrhagic stroke described below), treatment at a comprehensive stroke center was associated with a 27% reduced risk for death, compared with care at a hospital that did not provide specialized stroke care. Comprehensive stroke centers have specialists who are trained to deal with these strokes and 24-hour access to a neurosurgeon (if needed).