CVA is the medical name for a stroke. It’s short for cerebrovascular accident. CVA, or stroke, happens when there is a sudden pause in the blood flow of the brain. The most common cause of a stroke is a sudden blockage of the arteries leading into the brain. Strokes can also happen because of bleeding in the brain tissue itself. Stroke symptoms usually happen suddenly and can be different. Some symptoms of a stroke can be paralysis on one side of the body, speech problems, tingling sensations, or numbness.