Can COVID-19 Cause Strokes?
Richard Zweifler, MD, discusses with Cuong Bui, MD, what a stroke is, and the increased risk of one particular type of stroke from COVID-19.
Dr. Zweifler explains a stroke is a sudden interruption of blood flow to the brain, which can occur in one of two ways:
- A blood vessel can break and there can be bleeding in or around the brain, which is referred to as a hemorrhage or a hemorrhagic stroke.
- A blood vessel can become blocked, which can impair blood flow to the brain, and that is referred to as a non-bloody or ischemic stroke. This type of stroke is the most common.
Recent reports have shown COVID-19 has been associated with an increased risk of stroke, particularly with the ischemic stroke. Dr. Zweifler states, "One center in New York has found that there has been an increased risk of stroke in young patients who have COVID-19."
The most important thing is to be aware of stroke symptoms, and if you experience a sign or symptom of a stroke, call 911 because treatment is time-sensitive. The same should be done if you are with someone that is showing signs or symptoms of a stroke.
Symptoms of stroke include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body
- Sudden inability to speak or understand
- Sudden lose of vision in one or both eyes. This includes sudden double-vision
- Sudden inability to walk or lose of balance
- Sudden sever headache
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