HOW TO IDENTIFY A STROKE

According to Mayo Clinic a Stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is reduced or interrupted. The symptoms depend on the region of the brain that is affected, however a stroke is not to be taken lightly as it could leave you with brain damage, a disability, or even lead to death.

Sudden symptoms of a stroke would include; numbness or weakness, confusion or trouble understanding other people, struggling to speak or trouble seeing, trouble walking or staying balanced, as well as dizziness.

There are also a number of after effects of a stroke. You may feel changes in senses, fatigue, vision problems, weakness and paralysis.

It’s important to follow prescribed treatment after a stroke as the risk of having another stroke increases.

A mini-stroke occurs when one experiences stroke like symptoms that are brief and last less than 24 hours. These mini-stroke symptoms disappear within a short period of time.

If you suspect you or someone around you is suffering from a stroke, there is a simple test you can do. The most common way to check symptoms of a stroke is the FAST test.

Face: Smile and check if one side of the face droops. An uneven smile on a person’s face is a warning sign. The person’s face may even feel numb.

Arms: Raise both arms. Does one arm drop down? Arm numbness or weakness can be a warning sign; if the arm drops down or isn’t steady, this could be a sign of a stroke.

Speech: Attempt to say a short phrase and check for slurred or strange speech.

Time: If the answer to any of these is yes, call emergency services right away and write down the time that symptoms started.

However, women tend to show unique symptoms that can occur suddenly, which include: fainting, general weakness, shortness of breath, confusion or unresponsiveness, sudden behavioural change, irritation, hallucination, nausea or vomiting, pain, seizures and hiccups.

According to WebMD, there are three types of strokes:

  1. An Ischemic stroke, which is a blockage in the artery.
  2. A Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a blood vessel rupture.
  3. A Ministroke, or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), is a temporary blockage in the artery.

Ministrokes don’t cause permanent damage but they do increase your risk of a stroke.

If someone is having a stroke it is important to ensure that they are in a safe and comfortable position. Place the person in a position where they’d be lying on one side with their head slightly raised and supported in case they vomit.  Ensure the person is breathing, if not one should perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

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