Community Health Network

Ranked among the nation's most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana's leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions, workplaces, schools and homes.

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To find a doctor at Community who can help you understand your risk for stroke and improve your health, call 800-777-7775.

Did you know?*

  • Women take 46 percent longer than men to get to the emergency room after stroke symptoms begin.
  • While less than half of strokes will strike women (43 percent), more women than men will die (62 percent) from stroke.
  • A majority of American women mistakenly believe that they have a higher risk for cancer than stroke and heart disease. Stroke and heart disease will kill twice as many women as cancer.

*National Stroke Association -

What is a stroke?

A stroke, or brain attack, occurs when the brain does not get the blood it needs, either because a blood vessel gets blocked or bursts. As a result, nerve cells in the brain start to die. When they die, the body parts they control may lose functionality. Stroke damage is often permanent.

Signs of stroke

Most people who are experiencing a stroke have two or more of the symptoms listed below. It is important to recognize these symptoms and call 9-1-1 if you suspect a stroke. Stroke is best treated within the first three hours of onset.

The most common signs are:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg (mainly on one side of the body)
  • Sudden confusion, or trouble talking or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Women may report unique stroke symptoms:

  • Sudden face and limb pain
  • Sudden hiccups
  • Sudden nausea
  • Sudden general weakness

Act F.A.S.T.*

If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T and do this simple test:


Ask the person to smile.
Does one side of the face droop?


Ask the person to raise both arms.
Does one arm drift downward?


Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?


If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important. Call 911 or get to the hospital fast. Brain cells are dying.

Don't wait. Call 9-1-1!
If you see even just one of these symptoms, even if it goes away, do not wait, call 9-1-1 immediately.

This person may be having a stroke.

*National Stroke Association -

Risk factors for stroke

  • Age: while stroke can occur at any age, risk increases as you get older
  • Heredity: stroke risk doubles for a woman if a relative in her immediate family has suffered a stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Atrial fibrillation (a form of irregular or racing heartbeat)
  • Migraine headaches
  • Hormonal changes with pregnancy, childbirth or menopause
  • Diabetes

In addition, certain lifestyle choices, including smoking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, weight problems, and use of birth control pills or birth control patch can increase your risk for stroke.

Do you have one or more of these risk factors? Talk to your doctor about ways you can improve your health and reduce your risk for stroke. To find a doctor at Community, call 800-777-7775.

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