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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Linebacker had 'stroke-like symptoms' ?

MSNBC reports Pats' Bruschi had 'stroke-like symptoms' .

I hope he is okay, but it's a good reminder to all of us to know the symptoms of stroke and, what is often a stroke precursor, the Transient ischemic attack (TIA). The American Stroke Association provides a pretty good website and lists these symptoms:

-Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
-Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
-Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
-Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
-Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

If you experience these symptoms, get to an emergency room as soon as possible. Don't wait just because the symptoms go away- there have been a lot of improvements in the treatment of stroke, but much still hinges on getting treatment quickly.

Not to sound too preachy, but I experienced a stroke a couple of years ago (relatively fit, relatively young, non-smoker with 5 marathons to my credit) - and was lucky enough to go to WebMD and check symptoms. My wife drove me to the nearest hospital and everything worked out fine (no detectible harm to me except I'm a little goofier), but it certainly raised my consciousness about strokes, our nation's No. 3 killer and a leading cause of severe, long-term disability.

By the way, an aspirin a day may help decrease the risk of stroke, too.

Update: More info on Mr. Bruschi here.

Update2: Mr. Bruschi is walking and talking after "mild" stroke says ESPN

Update3: Latest new - Mr. Bruschi appears to be ready to gohome. Important note:
Unlike heart attacks, strokes usually cause no pain, so the warning signs often are missed by victims and people around them. Symptoms include sudden weakness or numbness, dimness or loss of vision, difficulty or inability to speak and severe headaches.

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