Recognizing a Stroke and First Response

  • By Premier Family Medical
  • 23 Feb, 2017

Learning the signs of a stroke as well as what to do if one happens is crucial to saving a life.

A stroke is one of the most common, yet misunderstood medical conditions a person can face. For those who have suffered a stroke, the consequences are sometimes life changing.

5 Signs Of A Stroke :

Numbness/Weakness

  • Feeling numb or weak in your arms or legs could be one of the first signs that a stroke is occurring. Muscle weakness, especially asymmetrical (only on one side of the body is more common than on both sides) is also a very common sign of stroke.

Headache

  • From a slight ache to a full blown migraine, headaches often show us a stroke is underway. Pain can be focused on any part of the head or extend in an ache that stretches across the scalp.

Confusion

  • A general sense of confusion can occur at any point during a stroke. It may be as simple as forgetting what someone was going to say next. In some cases, the symptom has led to people becoming lost or disoriented.

Slurring Words

  • Slurred words or phrases are one of the key symptoms that someone is having a stroke. It's hard to miss this symptom. As the stroke progresses, speech will become worse and some people may entirely lose the ability to talk.

Facial Drooping

  • When it comes to stroke symptoms, this may be the best known sign that a person needs help. The facial drooping usually occurs on only one side of the face. When it occurs, a person can be sure that a stroke is in its most crucial stages.

What To Do When A Stroke Happens :

Call 911 Immediately

  • If you or someone you love is experiencing a stroke, getting help is crucial to their survival. The faster emergency services can reach a stroke victim, the more chances they have to lead a normal life again.

Take Aspirin

  • Many stroke victims report taking low dose aspirin while waiting for emergency services to arrive. It can encourage blood flow in areas where the clot might be restricting movement. This choice is not for everyone, so discuss the subject of aspirin with your doctor before keeping it in your medicine cabinet.

Make A List Of The Symptoms

  • Take a few moments to write down or identify all of the symptoms that are occurring. For patients that cannot speak, this is especially important. Emergency personnel as well as the medical staff of any hospital can use this information to speed up their diagnosis. It also helps them craft special treatment options that will take care of the stroke before it worsens.

Stay With Someone Having A Stroke

  • It can be tempting to be up and moving in the frantic moments before EMS arrive on scene. Take time to stop and comfort the person as they wait for help. Just a few calming words gives them reassurance during these scary moments. Be sure to monitor their symptoms and be on the lookout for changing problems.

Having a stroke no longer means a death sentence. In fact, people can go on to live productive lives after one occurs. Remembering the signs and beginning the right course of action is a vital part of recovery.

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