Frequently Asked Questions
6. Why is it important to act fast if someone is having a stroke?
Stroke is a medical emergency. Every minute counts when someone is having a stroke. The longer blood flow is cut off to the brain, the greater the damage. Immediate treatment can save people’s lives and enhance their chances for successful recovery.
Ischemic strokes, the most common type of strokes, can be treated with a drug called t-PA that dissolves blood clots obstructing blood flow to the brain. The window of opportunity to start treating stroke patients is three hours, but to be evaluated and receive treatment, patients need to get to the hospital within 60 minutes.
A five-year study by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) found that some stroke patients who received t-PA within three hours of the start of stroke symptoms were at least 30 percent more likely to recover with little or no disability after three months.
Don't wait for the symptoms of stroke to improve or worsen. If you believe you or someone else is having a stroke, call 911 immediately! Making the decision to call for medical help can make the difference in avoiding a lifelong disability and in greatly improving the chances for recovery.