When To Call a Doctor
Call 911 or other emergency services now if you have signs of a stroke:
- Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
- Sudden vision changes.
- Sudden trouble speaking.
- Sudden confusion or trouble understanding simple statements.
- Sudden problems with walking or balance.
- A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.
Signs of a Reference transient ischemic attack Opens New Window (TIA) are similar to signs of a stroke. But TIA symptoms usually disappear after 10 to 20 minutes. There is no way to tell whether the symptoms are caused by a stroke or by TIA, so emergency medical care is needed for both conditions.
Call your doctor right away if you have:
- Had recent symptoms of a TIA or stroke, even if the symptoms have disappeared.
- Had a TIA or stroke and are taking aspirin or other medicines that prevent blood clotting and you notice any Reference signs of bleeding.
- Had a stroke and have a choking episode from food going down your windpipe.
- Had a stroke and have signs of a blood clot in a Reference deep blood vessel Opens New Window, which include redness, warmth, and pain in a specific area of your arm or leg.
Call your doctor for an appointment if you:
- Think you have had a TIA in the past and have not talked with your doctor about it.
- Have had a stroke and have a Reference pressure sore Opens New Window.
- Have had a stroke and notice that your affected arm or leg is becoming increasingly stiff or you are not able to straighten it (spasticity).
- Have had a stroke and notice signs of a urinary tract infection. Signs may include fever, pain with urination, blood in urine, and low back (flank) pain.
- Have had a stroke and you are having trouble keeping your balance.
Who to see
Doctors who can diagnose and treat stroke include:
- Reference Emergency medicine specialists Opens New Window.
- Reference Family medicine physicians Opens New Window.
- Reference Internists Opens New Window.
- Reference Neurologists Opens New Window.
If you need surgery or have other health problems, other specialists may be consulted, such as a:
- Reference Neurosurgeon Opens New Window.
- Reference Cardiologist Opens New Window.
- Reference Vascular surgeon Opens New Window.
Some hospitals have a stroke team made up of many different health professionals, such as a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, a rehabilitation doctor (physiatrist), a nurse, and a social worker.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 4, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Richard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation