Stroke is a medical emergency. Know these warning signs of stroke and teach them to others.
EVERY MINUTE MATTERS. Know these warning signs of a stroke, and teach them to others.
Warning signs include sudden:
Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
Trouble speaking or understanding
Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Loss of balance or coordination
Severe headache with no known cause
In the past, doctors couldn't do much to help stroke victims. That's not true today. Now stroke doesn't have to lead to disability or death. The key is to recognize a stroke and get to the hospital immediately. The clot-dissolving drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) can reduce long-term disability if it's given within three hours after an ischemic stroke starts. (Ischemic strokes are caused by clots and are by far the most common type of stroke.)
Unfortunately, tPA isn't used as often as it could be because many people don't seek care quickly. Don't you make that mistake. If you or someone near you has the warning signs of a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Has your local hospital set up the appropriate steps for treating stroke as an emergency? One way to find out is by checking the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organization's (JCAHO) list of certified primary stroke centers. If your local hospital isn't currently on this list, they still may be prepared to treat stroke. Contact the emergency room administrator and ask if the hospital has acute stroke protocols that include guidelines for the use of tPA. Knowing which facilities are equipped to treat stroke can save valuable time.