Saturday, April 29, 2006

Health Tip - Stroke Recognition

A Neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke.
He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and treated within 3 hours.


Thank God for the sense to remember the "3" steps, STR
Read and Learn!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster.

The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S *Ask the individual to SMILE.

T *Ask the person to TALK, to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. . . It is sunny out today).

R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

{NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this:
Ask the person to 'stick' out their tongue...if the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke}

Actually, those tips ARE valuable, but they will only work with the clot-type strokes which can be alleviated with the drug TPA. The other twenty percent are aneurism-type strokes, where an aneurism (ballooning of an artery) bursts and the resulting bleed kills off nearby brain cells.

The symptoms are the same, but in the aneurism case, little can be done for the patient.

The other important thing is that most clot-type strokes are preceded by TIA (transient ischemic attacks), which are events that wouldn't be associated with a stroke and might not produce the results from the patient evaluation given above.

TIA's manifest themselves as sudden piercing headaches, periods of blurred vision and/or dizziness. Ask the patient if they have experienced any of these symptoms in the past three days. If they have, together with ANY of the evaluation positives, it will indicate a stroke.

Strokes run in chains, usually with each successive one getting more serious than the last one, so it's important to break the chain.

In the hospital, doctors don't have to guess, they can hook the patient up for an electro-encephlagram (EEG) or run a CAT scan to detect the clots/aneurisms.

The trick is to get the patient admitted and get these tests started, STAT. Not all hospitals want to do that, and minutes count.

The spouse or other person that accompanies the patient to the hospital MUST convince the ER people that admission for testing is appropriate and MANDATORY. That might mean putting on your game face and suggesting that the issue can be handled by the docs NOW or the lawyers LATER.
Sorry I didn't think of this earlier, R/G, but there is another thing that's too general about the "3 tips". The last one has a symptom that can result from so many things that it alone is worthless as an evaluation.

I've seen all sorts of perfectly normal people who cannot stick their tongue out straight, but put it to the side.

Also, what about those with previous brain damage (possibly from an earlier stroke)? My wife had a disabling stroke 13 years ago, and I would challenge any ER doc to tell if what he/she sees on evaluation is old-stroke results or the results of a new one. Can't be done.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Full disclosure;
I've been offered a free firearms training course at Front Sight in exchange for posting these links.
Since I've already taken one of their excellent courses, I jumped at the chance to get a free one.