Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack

What Is a Stroke?

A stroke, also known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), is a serious medical emergency in which blood flow is temporarily cut off from part of the brain. This could be because of a blockage in the blood vessels or because of bleeding in the brain.

When a stroke occurs because blood vessels are blocked, it is known as an ischemic stroke. When bleeding occurs in the brain and causes a CVA, it is known as a hemorrhagic stroke.

Learn more about the different types of strokes.

Most organs in the body can survive for short periods without blood flow, but the brain needs a constant supply of oxygen.

Strokes can be treated, but they need to be attended to by medical professionals as soon as possible. Every minute a stroke is left untreated, a person is at greater risk for suffering permanent brain or nerve damage.

If your family has a history of high blood pressure or heart disease, you would have an increased risk of having a stroke. People who are at high risk for stroke should ensure that they have a response plan in place should a stroke ever occur.

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What Is a Transient Ischemic Attack?

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is similar to a stroke, except it is shorter and does not do permanent damage. Sometimes it is referred to as a “ministroke.”

While TIAs do not have the same impact as strokes, they may be a warning sign that a full stroke may follow.

People who experience TIAs should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Their doctor will want to confirm the event as a ministroke and put a stroke prevention plan in place.

Stroke prevention measures may include medication, exercise, dietary changes, and stress management.

For More Information

  • Learn to recognize the signs of a stroke — Learn about the B.E. F.A.S.T. system that can help you identify stroke symptoms. You could save your life or someone else’s.
  • Treatment for stroke — A stroke is an emergency medical condition. Learn about how physicians treat a stroke.
  • Stroke Centers — Learn about our Primary and Comprehensive Stroke Centers.
  • Stroke recovery — Depending on the severity of a stroke, patients may regain lost function and improve their quality of life with rehabilitation.
  • How to prevent a stroke — What can you do to prevent a stroke? Measures may include medication, exercise, dietary changes and stress management.

What to Do If You Think Someone Is Having a Stroke

Stroke is a medical emergency and time counts. Call 911 immediately if you or someone you’re with is exhibiting symptoms, such as blurred vision, facial drooping, one-sided body weakness, problems speaking or being understood and/or a sudden and severe headache.

Stroke is a medical emergency. If you or someone you are with is experiencing the symptoms of stroke, call 911 immediately.

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Patient Stories

  • "Time is Brain,” isn’t just a catchy tagline, Dr. Rybinnik notes. Parts of the brain can die if they do not receive proper blood flow for too long

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  • "From the ED to rehab, everyone at RWJUH Somerset was very attentive. They helped me in any way I needed."

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  • “I got this miracle shot, and I hope it helps other people like it helped me. I’m blessed, lucky and grateful.”

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Patient Stories

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110 Rehill Avenue
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RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
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Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
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(732) 363-1900

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