If you or someone that you’re with were to suffer a stroke, would you know what to do? In an emergency situation such as this it can be scary and frightful, but today we’re gonna talk about some tips and some things to keep in mind in case that were to happen.
In today’s episode, I’ll be addressing how to identify a stroke. In our last series, we discussed measures that we can take to avoid having a stroke, now let’s talk about what to do if we think we, or someone near us, is actually having one. It can be a very scary situation. I was doing an assessment for a client once when her husband started exhibiting some behaviors that I would definitely consider unusual, I addressed it immediately with the adult son that was also present, and we were able to establish pretty quickly that he was experiencing a stroke so we called 911 and EMS arrived within minutes. It’s important to act fast. Getting medical treatment within three hours of the first symptoms of a stroke can make the difference between recovery and lifelong disability.
So how do we recognize a stroke? Identifying a stroke very quickly is extremely important. Too many people ignore the signs of a stroke because they question whether their symptoms are actually real. A renowned cardiologist, Dr. Ross, recommends that we not wait if we have any unusual symptoms at all. Listen to your body, trust your instincts and if something feels off, get professional help right away.
I love acronyms. The National Stroke Association has created an easy acronym to help you remember and act on the signs of a stroke. If you feel that you have a risk of having a stroke or have a loved one that might be at risk, you may wanna write this down, post it on your refrigerator and have it there for easy reference. So the acronym itself is FAST, F-A-S-T.
The F is for face, does one side of your face droop when you smile? Really, smile in order to check. Arms, when you lift both arms, does one arm drift back down? Speech, is your speech slurred or does it sound odd? Time, if you see any of these signs in yourself or someone else, call 911 right away. Remember how we said that getting medical treatment within three hours of the first symptoms of a stroke can make the difference between recovery and lifelong disability? That’s why time is so important.
There’s some warning signs that you can look for. Warning signs are clues that your body’s gonna send you saying that the brain isn’t receiving enough oxygen. If you observe one or more of these signs of a stroke or brain attack so to speak, don’t wait, call a doctor or 911 right away. If you experience sudden numbness or weakness in your face, your arm or your leg, that could be a sign, especially if it’s on one side of your body. Sudden confusion, or trouble talking or understanding speech patterns is a sign, sudden trouble seeing in one or both of your eyes, sudden trouble walking, having dizziness or loss of balance or coordination, or a sudden severe headache with no known cause could also be a sign.
More dangerous signs that could occur include double vision, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and sometimes the warning signs they only last for a few moments and then they disappear, and those brief episodes they’re known as transient ischemic attacks or TIAs, they’re sometimes called mini strokes. And although they’re brief, they identify an underlying serious condition that really isn’t gonna go away unless there’s medical help. Unfortunately, since they clear up, many people ignore them, but don’t. Pay attention to those things, it really could save your life.
If you’d like more information about this, please call us at Seniors Helping Seniors, we’d be happy to help. Until next time, thank you and have a great day.
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