4 should, 2 avoid when discovering a loved one has had a stroke

Because a stroke can be life-threatening and lead to permanent disability, it’s important to act quickly. If you suspect your loved one is having a stroke, here’s what you should and shouldn’t do during this critical time.

When a person has a stroke, every second counts. And what you do in those critical times can help save someone’s life. Here’s what you should do when you find out someone has had a stroke.

What to do when you find out someone has a stroke

1. Call 911 immediately

If you can’t do anything else, call 911 quickly. The hardest thing you have to do is recognize the symptoms of a stroke. If you observe any of these symptoms, you should call 911 immediately. Not sure what the symptoms of a stroke are? Use the acronym FAST to help you remember:

F = Face: Has the person’s face changed? Does the mouth sag on one side? Is their smile straight or skewed?

A = Arms: Can they raise both arms? Can they hold them up, or the arms drift down?

S = Speech: Can the person repeat a simple sentence? Are they livid?

T = Time: If the answer to any of the above is yes, call 911.

To learn more about the signs and symptoms of a stroke, you can learn more about ways to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

2. Take notes as much information as possible

In some emergencies, healthcare professionals may use an anticoagulant called tPA, or tissue plasminogen activator, that can reverse or stop symptoms from developing. But it must be given within 4.5 hours of the onset of symptoms.

Patients may also be offered more advanced therapies, such as endovascular treatments. Endovascular treatments may include surgically removing the blood clot that caused the stroke or repairing an aneurysm, which is a swollen blood vessel that bursts and causes pressure in the brain. Endovascular treatments for ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, must be administered within 24 hours of symptom onset, and earlier treatment improves outcomes so time very important.

So it would be helpful to make a note of when the symptoms started. The more information you provide, the better. What time did the person have the stroke, or did you notice the symptoms three hours ago? If the person already knows medical conditions, be prepared to share that information with hospital staff. These conditions can include high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, or diabetes.

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As you wait for the ambulance to arrive, gather as much information from the patient as possible while they can still communicate. Ask about any medications they are taking, their medical condition, and known allergies. Make a note of this information so you can share it with your doctor, in case your loved one passes out later.

3. Encourage the person to lie down

If the person is sitting or standing, encourage them to lie on their side and keep their head elevated. This pose promotes blood flow to the brain. However, do not move the person if they fall. To keep the sick person comfortable, loosen the clothing more.

4. Perform CPR, if necessary

According to experts, most stroke patients do not need CPR. But if the person is unconscious when found, check the patient’s pulse and breathing. If you can’t find it, call 911 and start CPR while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. You can also ask the dispatcher to teach you how to perform CPR, including repetitive chest compressions and stabilization.

>>> See more: How to exercise after a stroke?

Perform artificial respiration

If the patient is unconscious and not breathing, you should perform CPR

2 things not to do for people having a stroke

1. Don’t let that person sleep

Stroke survivors often complain of suddenly feeling very sleepy when the stroke first occurs. Many patients say they slept a few hours before arriving at the hospital because they were tired.

But time is of the essence. The type of medication a medical professional can give a stroke survivor is very time-sensitive. They should not go to sleep. Instead, they should just go to the emergency room right away.

2. Do not give them medicine, food or drink

80% of strokes are ischemic, but if the patient is in that 20% and the stroke is caused by a ruptured blood vessel in the brain, the patient should not take aspirin. And you can’t know what a patient has until they’ve been checked by a doctor. To be on the safe side, do not give someone who has had a stroke any medicine.

You should also not give the patient anything to eat or drink before the ambulance arrives. A stroke can cause muscle weakness throughout the body and, in some cases, paralysis. Sometimes, a stroke affects the ability to swallow. If the person has trouble swallowing, they may choke on food or water.

A stroke can be a life-threatening situation. So don’t delay in seeking help. The worst thing you can do is wait and see if your symptoms improve. The longer your loved one is left without medical intervention, the more likely they will be permanently disabled. However, if they get to the hospital early after symptoms and receive appropriate treatment, they have a much better chance of a smooth recovery.

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To prevent stroke and promote health, regular exercise is a simple and effective way for you.

Reference source

If Someone is Having a Stroke: 3 Things To Do and 3 Things Not To Do https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/neuroscience-blog/2019/april/if-someone-is-having-a-stroke -3-things-to-do-and-3-things-not-to-do Accessed Date: June 1, 2021

Do’s and Don’ts When a Loved One Is Experiencing a Stroke https://www.healthline.com/health/stroke-treatment-and-timing/dos-and-donts#The-takeaway Access date: 1/06/ 2021

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