What to do if someone is having a stroke.
The thought of seeing someone close to you
suffering from a stroke is not a pleasant one, but fast action and getting them
the help they need as soon as possible, can make all the difference. When it
comes to strokes, time is of the essence and a quick response can help reduce
the amount of damage the brain will experience, as well as aid a faster
recovery. Knowing how to identify the
signs of a stroke can mean the difference between life and death, so read on to
learn more about the symptoms to look out for and what you should do if you
suspect someone is suffering from a stroke.
A stroke is experienced when the blood flow
to the brain is interrupted, and as a result, the brain cells in the immediate
area begin to die. This is because they are deprived of the oxygen and
nutrients they need to function and live. With parts of the brain essentially
dying, certain functions are affected, resulting in several disabilities and
This is the most common kind. This is when a blood clot blocks or plugs either a vessel or artery in the brain.
This occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, causing blood to leak into the brain.
There are a number of different symptoms a person will experience when suffering from a stroke. Look out for the following if you suspect someone might be having one and rather act then and there:
- Sudden paralysis, numbness or
weakness in the face, arms and legs (usually all on the same side)
- Blurred vision in one or both
- Confusion, drowsiness or loss
- Trouble speaking or
- Difficulty walking, loss of
balance or dizziness
- Difficulty swallowing
- A sudden, severe headache
The longer the brain is without oxygen, the more damage it will undergo. The key is to act fast and call for help. To be sure that the person is indeed suffering from a stroke, do the following three, simple things as quickly as possible:
1) Smile test: ask the person to smile or show you their teeth. This will help you identify any one-sided facial weakness, something that is indicative of a stroke.
2) Raise the arms: ask the person to close their eyes and raise both their arms above their head. In stroke patients, the one arm will not be able to go as high as the other, a sign of the limb weakness associated with strokes.
3) Simple phrase: ask the person to repeat a simple phrase you say to them, such as “I like ice-cream and walking on the beach”. If they say it back to you with slurred speech, that’s a sign that they’ve almost certainly experienced a stroke.
Be sure not to give the person anything to eat or any medications, and help them lie down in the recovery position, on their side in a loose foetal position with their head rested on one arm and the legs bent.
There is not much you can do to prevent the onset of a stroke, but there are things you can do to reduce your chances. If the following apply to you, you may be at greater risk of suffering from a stroke:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
Do what you can to get each of these under
control and if you’re a smoker, you should consider quitting.
Now that you know what to look for if you think someone is experiencing a stroke, you’re more likely to identify what is happening faster, which will hopefully prompt an immediate response - something that could help save the person’s life.
Because you can never know if you’re going to suffer from a stroke or not, rather be safe than sorry, and consider investing in Serious Illness Cover from FRANK.NET. That way, you’ll be covered in the event that you do experience one.
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