Knowing what to do for a stroke victim can make all the difference.
Strokes are caused by blood clots which block a narrowed artery in the brain. When this happens the part of the brain beyond the clot receives no oxygen and begins to die. Depending on how severe the stroke is the result could be death or impairment of specific body functions.
If a stroke is noticed and acted up quickly the damage can often times be reduced by using a anti-clotting drug that is available at the hospital.
Here are 5 things to look for in a stroke victim:
- Weakness: a sudden onset of weakness, loss of strength or numbness in the arms, legs or face.
- Trouble speaking: the victim suddenly can’t speak properly, slurs words or is confused.
- Vision problems: suddenly the victim has trouble seeing out of one or both eyes.
- Headache: a sudden severe or unusual headache.
- Dizziness: the victim suddenly suffers from dizziness or loss of balance.
A stroke hits suddenly and the symptoms can be severe but temporary. Don’t let the duration of the symptoms or the recovery of the symptoms trick you into thinking you don’t need to see your doctor.
Here is an acronym to help you remember the signs of stroke:
F. acial droop – one side of the face droops or doesn’t move as well as the other
A. rm drift – if the arms are held out to the side one arm may drift up or down
S. peech – not able to speak, slurs words or uses incorrect words
T. ime – get immediate medical help as fast as possible
How and how fast you react is the key to any medical emergency. The first step is to recognize a problem then react by providing proper first aide and getting the victim to the hospital.
Get some basic first aid training and be prepared.
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