Reaction Time Is Critical: Learn How to Identify a Stroke

May 7th 2016

A stroke is a serious medical condition that can cause long-term negative health effects or even death. The quicker you get help for a potential stroke victim, the better the chance is of minimizing the damage. In order to identify a stroke, you need to know the symptoms and warning signs.

Facial Numbness

During a stroke, a person's face may droop on one side or become numb, making speech difficult. Check for drooping, and ask the person to show you their teeth. If his smile is uneven or he can't smile at all, this could be a sign of a stroke.

Slurred or Difficult Speech

Ask the person questions that are easy to answer, such as, ""What's your name?"" Ask him to repeat a simple sentence, such as ""Grass is green"" or ""The sky is blue."" If his speech is slurred when responding to you, he may be experiencing a stroke.

Arm Weakness

Ask the potential stroke victim to raise his hands over his head. Observe closely to see if he has difficulty raising one of the arms or if he can't seem to raise both arms to the same height. Arm weakness on one side is a classic stroke symptom.

Mini Strokes

The three types of strokes are ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes and transient ischemic attacks, also known as TIAs. Ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes are caused by blockages and burst blood vessels respectively and are considered major strokes. A TIA is similar to an ischemic stroke; because it generally lasts only five minutes or less, it has earned the nickname ""mini stroke."" Just because the name is ""mini"" doesn't mean that a TIA isn't a dangerous stroke, however. A TIA stroke may be a warning sign that a larger hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke may be pending, so it's important to get the victim to a hospital immediately

Use these simple assessments to help you ascertain whether a person has had a stroke. Remember that quick reactions can help minimize future health implications from a stroke, so don't be afraid to call for medical assistance.

Sources

strokeassociation.org "Stroke Warning Signs and Symptoms" http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/WarningSigns/Stroke-Warning-Signs-and-Symptoms_UCM_308528_SubHomePage.jsp
strokeassociation.org "Why Getting Quick Stroke Treatment is Important" http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/General/Why-Getting-Quick-Stroke-Treatment-Is-Important_UCM_451540_Article.jsp
webmd.com "Got A Minute? You Could Diagnose Stroke" http://www.webmd.com/stroke/news/20030213/got-minute-you-could-diagnose-stroke

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