Stroke Awareness and First Aid, Know the signs

Stroke Awareness and First Aid, Know the signs

Did you know someone has a stroke in the U.S. every 40 seconds? Healthline reports stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in U.S. women, and the fifth-leading cause of death in U.S. men. In Oregon nearly 8,000 people were hospitalized for stroke in 2014 according to the organization Stroke Awareness Oregon.

Fast medical attention is the key to surviving a stroke, so it is important to know the sudden signs and symptoms:

  • Face: Is the face numb or does it droop on one side?
  • Arms: Is one arm numb or weaker than the other? Does one arm stay lower than the other when trying to raise both arms?
  • Speech: Is speech slurred or garbled?
  • Time: If you answered yes to any of the above, call 911 immediately. A stroke needs immediate attention, and the faster the person receives medical help, the less damage is caused.

Strokes are caused by a disruption of the blood supply to the brain. Part of the brain becomes damaged, and this can affect people’s appearance, bodily functions, speech and sight.

Caregivers are often the first people to identify a need and offer first aid. Recognize that stroke may cause loss of balance or unconsciousness, which may result in a fall. When providing first aid to someone who may be having a stroke…

The American Red Cross instructs us to do the following:

  • Call 911.
  • Talk to the person to reassure them while you wait for the ambulance.
  • Keep yourself calm so you can think more clearly and help the person who is having the stroke. Help them sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
  • Someone who is having a stroke may have difficulty speaking clearly, but they may be able to understand what you say. Reassure them, speak slowly, and acknowledge that help is coming.
  • Observe the person carefully for any change in condition. Be prepared to tell the emergency workers about their symptoms and when they started. Be sure to mention if the person fell or hit their head.

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