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What should you do at first signs of stroke? BE FAST


Did you know that according to the World Health Organisation, stroke is the second leading cause of death around the world, causing 6.6 million deaths in 2020? In the European Union, stroke is the leading cause of adult disability, and it is projected that the incidence of stroke will increase by 27% by 2047.


Many people are aware of SOME of the classic signs of stroke. These include issues with a person’s balance, drooping of the face, having speech difficulty and weakness in the arm.

However, you may not be aware that a person having a stroke will not necessarily display ALL these symptoms. Even one of these symptoms may be enough to indicate a situation that can be life-threatening and should be regarded as an emergency.


What causes a stroke?


When blood flow to the brain is reduced or interrupted, a stroke will occur. A blocked artery in the brain will cause an ischemic stroke, while a blood vessel that leaks or bursts in the brain will cause a hemorrhagic stroke.


When the brain is deprived of adequate nutrients, the cells can start to die WITHIN MINUTES. That is why it is absolutely vital for treatment to be given practically immediately in the case of a stroke as this will help to preserve brain function and potentially save the life of the person suffering the stroke.


Keep this acronym in mind as it can help you with some vital pointers to diagnose this potential killer:


BE FAST

B: Balance – Is the person suddenly having trouble with their balance or coordination?

E: Eyes – Does the person suddenly have blurred or double vision?

F: Face drooping – Is the person’s face drooping or numb on one side? Ask them to smile to see if there is any lopsidedness.

A: Arm weakness – Does the person suddenly have one arm that is weak or numb? If the person raises both arms, does one of the arms drift downward?

S: Speech difficulty – Is the person finding difficulty to speak or slurring their speech? Can they clearly repeat a simple sentence?

T: Time to call 112




·         Do try and be as calm as possible while you wait for emergency help.

·         If you're with somebody who is displaying stroke symptoms, help them into a safe, comfortable position. Ideally, they should be lying on one side. Their head should be slightly raised and supported to ensure that the airways remain free in case they vomit.



·         Do check to see if they're breathing. If they are not, you may need to perform CPR if you have the knowledge and skills to do so.

·         Do make a note of the time when the first symptoms appear: someone having a stroke can be given a clot-busting medication which can potentially reverse or stop the symptoms from continuing to develop. But this medication must be given within a specified time period from the start of symptoms, and noting this time could potentially be a life saver.

·         Do NOT let the person suffering the stroke symptoms go to sleep or talk you out of calling emergency services.

·         Do not give them medication, food, or drinks as this could potentially be more harmful.

 

If you would like information on how to kick start your journey to a healthier you, contact us today on +356 21221355, 9985 2404 or send an email on info@clinipath.com.mt.

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