Tuesday, May 8, 2018

It’s Important to Know the Signs of a Stroke

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following is a list of the signs and symptoms you need to know if you think someone may be having a stroke.  They recommend noting the time when you first notice the symptoms as it is important to know when seeking medical treatment.   

The first sign is any difficulty with speaking or understanding as well as confusion.  A person may slur their words or have trouble processing what is being said.  Another thing to look for is any sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in the face, arm or leg especially on one side of the body.  Ask the person to try and raise both arms over their head at the same time.  If one arm begins to fall, it may be a stroke.  Also, another indication of a stroke is if one side of the mouth is drooping when you ask the person to smile.   

Other signs of a stroke can include trouble with seeing in one or both eyes and exhibiting symptoms such as blurred or blackened vision or seeing double.  In addition, trouble walking as well as dizziness or loss of balance and coordination can also be signs of a stroke.    Further stroke symptoms include a sudden onset of a severe headache along with vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness.

Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the signs of a stroke regardless of whether they appear to fluctuate or disappear.  The American Stroke Association’s F.A.S.T. acronym is an easy way to remember the signs of stroke. They state that you need to call 911 immediately if you or someone you are with experiences any of the following signs: 

F        Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?

A        Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S        Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?

T        Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.  

Remember the longer a stroke goes untreated, there becomes a greater potential for brain damage and disability.  Once you have called for emergency assistance, continue to carefully watch the person.  

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Sources: mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/symptoms-causes/


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