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Stroke Signs & Facts

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. Getting treatment within 60 minutes can prevent disability and increase your chances of survival.

Know the following signs and get treatment quickly.

  • 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.

Types of Stroke

There are two main types of strokes. One's recovery and treatment can vary depending on what kind of stroke he or she has. Learn more from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention's Types of Stroke page.

Facts About Stroke

  • Each year, nearly 800,000 strokes occur in the U.S.
  • Approximately 143,000 people die from stroke every year in the U.S.
  • Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer.
  • Nearly 3/4 of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65. In fact, the risk of having a stroke more than doubles each decade after the age of 55.
  • People with diabetes have a 2-4 time higher risk of stroke compared to people without diabetes. Other risk factors include high blood pressure, heart disease and atrial fibrillation.
  • By reducing your blood pressure, you decrease your chance of a stroke by 4-6 times.

Learn more from the Minnesota Department of Health on how common are strokes in Minnesota and trends in cardiovascular and stroke risk among residents.

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

Download Now

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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.