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A Stroke is a life-threatening emergency! Learn the signs now, so you are prepared. The more quickly you respond to these signs, the better chance the patient will have no lasting damage from the stroke. Typically, the person having the stroke will not be able to communicate that they are in distress! So how will you know? The main thing to know is the acronym, FAST.
Stroke symptoms include the following:
Face drooping. Does one side of the face droop or feel numb? To test a person, ask them to smile. Is the smile lopsided or uneven? CALL 9-1-1.
Arm Weakness. Does one arm feel weak or numb? To test a friend, ask them to raise both arms. Does one arm sag down? CALL 9-1-1.
Speech Difficulty. Does a person’s speech sound slurred? If they cannot speak or are difficult to understand, ask them to repeat a short sentence, such as “The sky is cloudy.” If they cannot, CALL 9-1-1.
Other Symptoms: Sudden confusion, trouble understanding speech, trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, sudden vision problem, sudden severe headache, sudden numbness on one side of the body
Even if the above symptoms go away, still call 9-1-1 and tell them “My friend is having a stroke.” Do not delay! Time is vital! They will ask you when the symptoms first appeared.
Treatment of a stroke depends on the type of stroke and the location of the injury in the brain. Diagnostic tests will help the ER staff determine the best treatment.
ISCHEMIC strokes are caused by a blocked artery in the brain.
HEMORRHAGIC strokes are caused by a ruptured blood vessel in the brain.
♥ Diagnostic tests such as CAT scans, MRIs, CTAs, MRAs and Cerebral Angiography
These diagnostic tools show images and blood flow
♥ IV Alteplase is a clot-breaking drug to open a blockage
This MUST be given within 3-4 hours of onset of stroke
♥ Mechanical Thrombectomy is a surgical procedure
This is for a clot in a larger artery. It must be done within 6–24 hours after onset of stroke