Stroke Awareness: Signs & Symptoms
A stroke is a sudden loss of brain function. There are two main types of stroke, this includes an ischemic stroke, caused by the interruption of blood flow to the brain or a hemorrhagic stroke, caused by the rupture of blood vessels within the brain. Brain damage can occur from stroke because neurons of the affected area of the brain can die when they are deprived of oxygen and nutrients. When facing a stroke every second counts. By recognizing symptoms and acquiring treatment you can save yourself from brain damage. By knowing and understanding these symptoms one can be prepared to take hurried action and perhaps save a life – possibly even your own life. Here are the most prevalent symptoms in both men and women: Numbness – Sudden numbness in face or limbs, especially on only one side of the body. Confusion – Sudden confusion or difficulty understanding speech. Vision – Sudden unexplainable blurred vision or loss of sight in one or both eyes. Dizziness – Dizziness leading to loss of balance or lack of coordination. Headache – Sudden severe headache with no explanation. Remember to act F.A.S.T: F – Face: Ask the individual to smile. Does one side of their face drop? A – Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downwards? S – Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or jumbled? T – Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately It is important to remember the facts above because unfortunately every 7 minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke (Statistics Canada, 2011c), making it the third leading cause of death in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2012). We pray you and your family and friends are never faced with this issue. May you have any questions on first aid or safety please feel free to contact the First Aid Canada Team: 1-855-322-4243.