January 2018

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How to Spot Symptoms of a Stroke

symptoms stroke

If you have to care for an elderly relative or aging parent, it is very important to quickly spot the symptoms of a stroke. Prompt medical attention is crucial to help minimize any permanent damage to the brain and prevent other complications. In fact, getting the proper first-aid treatment for stroke patients can be a matter of life and death.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke happens when blood flow is lost to part of the brain. As soon as this happens, that part of the brain stops functioning and brain cells begin to die off.

According to Benjamin Wedro, MD, there is only a 3 to 4-hour window to administer drugs to get rid of the clots that are causing the stroke. These help to restore blood flow to the brain and will help boost chances of a better recovery.[1]

Why Act F.A.S.T. if You Notice Signs of Stroke

The best way to spot the signs of a stroke is to remember the acronym F.A.S.T. This is what FAST stands for:

  • Face. Face drooping often happens when a person has had a stroke. The best way to check this is to ask them to smile. If one side hangs lower than the other, it is a good indication that he or she has suffered a stroke.
  • Arm. A person who has suffered even a minor stroke may experience some arm weakness. To check for symptoms of a stroke, ask the person to raise both of their arms. If they are unable to raise one arm or you notice that one arm starts drifting down, it is time to take action.
  • Speech. Very often, a stroke victim will slur their words and their speech may be incomprehensible. You could ask them to talk to you or read something from a printed page. They also may have confusion when you are speaking to them.
  • Time. It is essential that you quickly call for medical assistance as a stroke is a medical emergency. Speak clearly and concisely about the symptoms to the operator and tell that you suspect your loved one having a stroke.

Remember, that if you spot the symptoms of an aging relative having a stroke, it’s essential to get treatment as soon as possible.

Source: Stroke signs, symptoms, warning signs and treatment by MedicineNet.com.

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