The UCSF-John Muir Health Jean and Ken Hofmann Cancer Center at the Behring Pavilion is now open.  LEARN MORE >

About Stroke

A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when something blocks blood supply to part of the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so the brain cells die. A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death.

Types of Strokes:

Types of Brain Strokes
  • An ischemic stroke, also known as a “Brain Attack” occurs when blood clots or other particles block the blood vessels to the brain, preventing blood flow to the brain causing damage.
  • hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts or leaks blood into the brain. Blood builds up, putting pressure on the surrounding brain tissue causing damage.
  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), also known as a “mini-stroke” occurs when blood flow is blocked for a short time because the blood clot breaks before any damage happens.
Stroke is Treatable
When it comes to stroke care, timing is everything. It is critical to recognize the signs of a stroke. The greatest chance for recovery from stroke occurs when treatment is started immediately. A helpful way to remember the signs of a stroke is by using the acronym B.E.F.A.S.T.

B = Balance. Sudden loss of balance, difficulty walking, or dizziness.
E = Eyes. Sudden blurred, doubled, or loss of vision in one or both eyes.

F = Face. Does one side of the face sag, droop or feel numb? Ask the person to smile.
A = Arms. Is one arm weak or numb?
S = Speech. Sudden slurred speech or having difficulty putting words together? Ask the person to say a simple phrase, “The sky is blue.”
T = Time. Time to call 911.

Call 9-1-1 immediately if you suspect a stroke.

For questions about our BE FAST program, email
Related Links