Resources Search
Close Search
Urgent Care

Learn How to Prevent a Stroke at Southcoast Health

Stroke occurs when a blood vessel in your brain ruptures or becomes blocked by a blood clot. Your risk of stroke increases as you age, but medications and medical procedures can help you avoid a stroke or aid in recovery if you have a stroke.

Before medication or a procedure, your first defense against stroke should be lifestyle modifications. The doctors at Southcoast Health encourage our patients to prevent stroke in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island by:

  • Eating healthy
  • Monitoring your blood pressure
  • Exercising regularly
  • Not smoking

If you do have a stroke, rely on our medical professionals to provide expert stroke care. We may prescribe warfarin, a blood clot-fighting drug or novel oral anticoagulants, or NOACs.

Patients with atrial fibrillation have a much higher risk of stroke. Some treatments for AFib, including taking a blood thinner or implanting the Watchman device, can reduce your chance of stroke.

Warning Signs of a Stroke

Stroke symptoms include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs, especially on just 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 have any of these warning signs, call 911 immediately.

Preventing a Stroke

Sometimes stroke symptoms can be subtle and may come and go quickly. This is known as a TIA (transient ischemic attack) or mini-stroke, and may be followed within hours by a major, disabling stroke. About 10% of strokes are preceded by TIAs. Always pay attention to any stroke symptoms, no matter how slight, and get medical attention right away. A TIA may be a signal of serious vascular disease that can be properly treated before a major stroke occurs.

Remember these “three Rs” about stroke, and you may help prevent disability and even save a life.

  1. Reduce the risk for stroke.
  2. Recognize symptoms.
  3. Respond by getting emergency treatment quickly.

As part of our wellness services, Southcoast Health provides stroke prevention in Fall River, New Bedford and Wareham, MA, as well as surrounding areas of Rhode Island.