What is a stroke?
A stroke is a medical emergency caused either because of the diminished blood supply to the brain or a rupture of a blood vessel resulting in bleeding inside the brain. Early treatment is necessary to prevent serious damage.
Let’s walk you through a list of assessments and measures to equip you with the immediate steps that you can take if a similar circumstance arises around you.
Assessment of a Stroke
If there is a sudden onset of the following, these are the probable signs for having a stroke:
- Weakness on one or both sides of the body that affects the face, arms, or legs
- Problems in speaking or understanding (confusions)
- Blurred vision
- Sudden severe headache
- Collapse and loss of consciousness
It is always advisable to assess the above conditions by performing the FAST test (Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties, Time to call for medical aid).
Let’s have a look at every step in brief:
STEP 1: Check the FACE
Analyse the casualty for any facial frailty. You can also ask the casualty to smile. If he is able to smile only on one side with a droop on the other side, it is a clear indication of a stroke.
STEP 2: Check the ARMS
Request the casualty to lift his arms. If he is able to lift one/none of the arms, it’s again a clear sign of having a stroke.
STEP 3: Check the SPEECH
Try to have a conversation with the victim and observe whether he is able to speak clearly and understand you or not. In case of a vague speech or sense of understanding, the probability of a stroke is maximum.
STEP 4: Time to call for EMERGENCY HELP
If the result for any or all of the above 3 steps comes out to be positive, the suspicion of having a stroke gets enlarged, almost to the point of certainty. At this point, your immediate action should be to call for emergency medical help. This will ensure that any harm is contained well within limits.
*Regularly monitor the casualty’s pulse, breathing, and level of consciousness till the arrival of the medical aid.
Note: If the casualty is taken to the hospital within 3 and a half hours of stroke, the maximum impact of it can be intervened and eventually reversed. This is the golden hour that can save lives so being aware of it is a boon.
It takes a considerable amount of time to recover from a stroke completely or with minor residual impairments. The idea is to keep yourself calm so that you are able to take good care of the casualty as well. Any damage to the brain is serious but on a brighter note, you can be the ship to help the casualty sail through the storm and reach the shore, that is, on the verge of complete recovery.