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What is a stroke?

A stroke is an emergency and a "brain attack", cutting off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain.

After the blood supply has stopped going to the brain, the brain cells will start to die, causing brain damage. Strokes can severely impair certain functions like walking, talking, and breathing.

Stroke Facts

According to the National Stroke Association (NSA):

  • Up to 80% of strokes are preventable
  • Approximately there are 7,000,000 stroke survivors in the U.S. over age 20
  • Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds
  • Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death
  • 87 % are ischemic strokes - strokes that are caused by blockage of an artery 
  • 13 % are hemorrhagic strokes - strokes that are caused by bleeding 

Signs & Symptoms

You may be having a stroke if you experience sudden:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache with no known cause


FAST Stroke  

A stroke can happen quickly and quietly. Be prepared to act F-A-S-T and call 9-1-1 when you see that someone is having a stroke!

Risk Factors 

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Irregular heartbeat (Atrial fibrillation)
  • Family history of stroke 
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity & physical inactivity 
  • Previous stroke


  • Get your blood pressure checked
    High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke. A health care provider can help you get your blood pressure under control.
  • Get your cholesterol checked
    High cholesterol levels can clog arteries and cause a stroke. Talk to your doctor about having your cholesterol checked and what you can do to lower it if it measures more than 200.
  • Control your diabetes
    Failing to control your blood sugar can lead to other health problems that are major risk factors for stroke.
  • Find out if you have abnormal heart rate
    “A-fib” is an abnormal heart rate and can significantly increase your risk of stroke by causing blood to pool and possibly clot inside your heart.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
    Extra weight puts strain on your blood vessels and can cause other stroke risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. You should exercise and eat healthy. Talk to your health care provider about establishing a plan that will work for you.
  • Quit smoking
    Smoking actually doubles your risk for stroke
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
    If you drink alcohol, drink no more than two drinks each day. If you don’t drink alcohol, don’t start.

Stroke Care Locations

The right care is right here.  7 out of 10 of our patients are discharged to their home after of our stroke care. Find exceptional stroke care and support at one of our Certified Stroke Centers:

Chambersburg Hospital Stroke Certification Waynesboro Hospital Stroke Certification

Chambersburg Hospital

Waynesboro Hospital

Related Services 


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