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 even death.

Ischemic

This is the most common kind. This is when a blood clot blocks or plugs either a vessel or artery in the brain.

Haemorrhagic

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 eyes
  • Confusion, drowsiness or loss of consciousness
  • Trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • 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
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • 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.

Contact FRANK.NET today to find out more.

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