A stroke can cause brain damage or death. It is important to recognize the signs of a stroke......
If a blood clot blocks a narrowed artery in the brain and the part of the brain beyond the clot doesn't get the oxygen it needs, the brain tissue actually dies. This is called a stroke or cerebrovascular accident (CVA).
The signs and symptoms of a stroke depend upon what area of the brain is affected. Often only one side of the body shows symptoms as only one side of the brain is affected. Remember the acroymn F.A.S.T. to check for the signs of a stroke.
- Facial Droop - one side of the face does not move as well as the other side
- Arm Drift - have the casualty hold both arms out - one arm may not move or drifts down
- Speech - Slurring of words, incorrect words or unable to speak
- Time - get immediate medical attention - the earlier a stroke is treated the better the outcome
Casualties may complain of the following:
- Weakness, numbness or tingling in the face arm or leg
- Loss of vision particularly in one eye or double vision
- Severe and unusual headache
- Dizziness and loss of balance
First Aid Treatment for Stroke
- Ensure the scene is safe.
- Call 911 immediately for medical assistance.
- Place the casualty at rest in a comfortable position.
- Give nothing by mouth. If the patient is thirsty moisten the lips with a wet cloth.
- Protect the casualty from injury while they are lifted or moved.
- Reassure the casualty and keep warm.
- If the casualty becomes semiconscious, place in the recovery position with any paralyzed side up.
- If the casualty becomes unresponsive and stops breathing, start CPR.