Most people are ignorant when it comes to matters stroke. What they may not know is that recognizing the symptoms and identifying a stroke before it occurs can go a long way in saving someone’s life. It is imperative to first understand what stroke is and then understand how to identify it before it happens.
WHAT IS STROKE?
Stroke is the sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood flow or rupture of an artery to the brain. It can also be the sudden loss of speech, weakness, or paralysis of one side of the body can be symptoms.
WHO IS AT MORE RISK OF STROKE?
Doctors say that as one gets older, the chances of he/she getting a stroke increases. Also, stroke is more common in men than women and finally, if one’s family has a history of stroke there is a probability of he/she suffering from stroke.
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster.
Neurologists says that if a stroke victim can get medical attention within 3 hours, the effects of stroke can be totally reversed. The trick is getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
When it comes to recognizing a stroke, there are three steps that we need to remember. The steps are summarized into S-T-R and below is how a bystander can recognize a stroke.
1.The letter S stands for Smile. Ask the individual you suspect might be near getting a stroke to smile. If one side of the face droops, this is a sign that they may be actually on the verge of getting a stroke.
2.The letter T stands for Talk. Ask the victim to speak a simple sentence in a coherent way. For example you can ask him/her to say ‘the weather today is perfect for swimming or fishing’. If you notice a slurred speech, take that as a red flag.
3. The letter R stands for Raise. Ask the victim to raise both arms. If one arm drifts downward, that is a sign that the victim might be nearing stroke.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, seek medical attention urgently. You can call the ambulance and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
NOTE : Another vital ‘sign’ of a stroke is asking the person to ‘stick’ out their tongue. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke.