Stroke Identification

A neurologist says that, if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours, he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke…totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours.  Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify.  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.


The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke notes these major signs of stroke:
•Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arms or legs
•Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding others
•Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
•Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
•Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Sometimes, a fall and temporary disorientation after the fall could result from a stroke but be discounted as merely a fall.

Remember the “3” steps, STR:.  A bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
1.  S = Ask the individual to SMILE.
2.  T = Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently).  (i.e. It is sunny out today)
3.  R = Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
Another ‘sign’ of a stroke: Ask the person to ‘stick’ out his tongue.  If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.
If someone has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

Tufts University propounds a FAST acronym:
Face drooping on one side or numb
Arm weak or numb
Speech slurred;unable to speak; difficult to understand; unable to repeat a simple    sentence
Time to call 911 immediately if person shows any of these symptoms, even if symptoms go away