George was at a Barbeque last Saturday afternoon and fell down. Then got up and said he was fine. He died at 6:30 pm from a stroke. If you know the signs of a stroke, you can save a life. How? If a stroke victim is medically cared for within 3 hours it may be possible to totally reverse the stroke effects.
Seniors lack knowledge of the signs of stroke. Older people poorly understand most of the important warning signs of stroke and factors that increase risk for this medical emergency, researchers from Dublin, Ireland, have found. Among 2033 older men and women, fewer than half knew that dizziness, numbness, weakness, and headache are common warning signs of stroke, report Dr. Anne Hickey, of Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and colleagues.
Source: Reuters Health (17 August 2009) So how can you, just a bystander, recognize a stroke? Ask four simple questions.
Ask the individual to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Ask the person to talk and speak a simple sentence, such as “It is raining today.” Are their words slurred? Can they repeat the sentence correctly?
Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Ask them to stick out their tongue. If the tongue goes to one side or the other that too is an indication of stroke.
If the person has trouble with any one of these tasks, call 911 or get to the hospital fast. Brain cells are dying.