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Stroke is urgent

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Stroke warning signs

Stroke is a medical emergency. Recognizing and responding immediately to the signs of stroke by calling 9-1-1 or your local emergency number can significantly improve survival and recovery.

What are the five signs of stroke?

Stroke can be treated. That's why it is so important to recognize and respond to the warning signs.

If you experience any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately. If a person is diagnosed with a stroke caused by a blood clot, doctors can administer a clot-busting drug available only at a hospital, and only within a few crucial hours after symptoms begin.* That’s why it is very important to be able to recognize the 5 warning signs of stroke and immediately call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.

* Health Canada has approved the clot-busting drug called tPA to be used within 3 hours from the time stroke symptoms begin. However, emerging science is now showing that tPA could be effective up to 4 ½ hours afterward. As a result, the Canadian Stroke Strategy has issued new Canadian Best Practices Recommendations for Stroke Care, which include this new treatment time. Still, it will be up to the attending emergency doctors to determine when tPA may be administered or if it is appropriate to the situation.

Last reviewed October 2009.

Last modified October 2011.