A Stroke occurs when your brain isn’t getting the blood it needs and the blood supply to an area of the brain is cut off. The symptoms depend on the region of the brain that is affected, however a stroke can leave you with brain damage, a disability, or can even lead to death.
The most common way to check symptoms of a stroke is the FAST test.
Face: Smile and see if one side of the face droops. An uneven smile on a person’s face is a warning sign. It 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: 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.
The person could also experience additional symptoms such as vision troubles, in one or both eyes; numbness in limbs, most likely on one side; fatigue and trouble walking.
Women could show unique symptoms, these symptoms can also happen suddenly, and 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.
- An ischemic stroke is a blockage in the artery.
- A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a blood vessel rupture.
- A mini-stroke, or transient ischemic attack (TIA), is a temporary blockage in the artery. Mini-strokes don’t cause permanent damage but they do increase your risk for stroke.
There are also a number of after effects of a stroke. The patient may feel changes in senses, fatigue, vision problems, weakness and paralysis.
It’s important to follow treatment prescribed after a stroke as the risk of having another stroke increases.
When experiencing these symptoms and they disappear, the person could have also had a mini-stroke. When experiencing a mini-stroke the symptoms go away on its own. Any symptoms of a stroke can occur during a mini-stroke.
If you suspect someone may be having a stroke, there is something you can do to help. Firstly, make sure they’re in a safe, comfortable position. You should make sure they’re breathing and if not, perform CPR.
You should place them in a position where they’d be lying on one side with their head slightly raised and supported in case they vomit; Knowing Stroke First Aid could save a life.
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