What is a Stroke?
Different types of strokes take place in the brain. It is the result of a blood vessel in the brain being blocked by a clot or piece of plaque, interrupting circulation, or a blood vessel bursts causing bleeding into surrounding brain tissues, leading to the death of brain cells. It is important to note that a stroke can occur before birth, in a child, or adult according to The Specialty Practice of Rehabilitation Nursing.
I have worked with patients, who experienced different types of strokes, for 32 years, but only observed one taking place. The individual was having difficulty holding her balance. I asked her to repeat a simple sentence and her speech was very difficult to understand. Fortunately, she had a mild stroke.
How Common is a Stroke?
According to https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/facts.htm, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, killing about 140,000 Americans each year. Stroke is also a leading cause of serious long-term disability, causing much financial and emotional distress. Despite the statistics, 80% of strokes can be prevented. I know this might be hard to believe, but according to https://www.stroke.org/en, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke, and every four minutes someone dies as a result of a stroke.
Importance of Being Able to Assess if Someone is Having a Stroke
Since stroke is such a devastating disease, affecting adults and children, it is very important to be able to determine if someone is having a stroke. This can benefit the community in general. The more people who know how to assess for stroke the better. More lives can be saved and hopefully, there will be less disability if action is taken quickly.
Ways to Determine if Someone is Having a StrokeAs stated on https://www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke/stroke-symptoms FAST is an acronym that can be used to assess if someone is having a stroke.
F=Face. Ask the person to smile. The person may be experiencing facial numbness. Do you notice a droop on one side of the face?
A=Arm. Ask the individual to raise both arms. Does one arm tend to drift downward?
S=Speech. Ask the individual to repeat a simple sentence. Is the individual unable to speak, or have trouble speaking? Do you have difficulty understanding what the person is saying?
T=Time. If the individual is experiencing any of these symptoms mentioned above, call 911 immediately! Please don’t attempt to drive the person to the emergency room, unless there is no other way. The longer you delay getting help the more brain cells will die.
Remember, since stroke is such a devastating disease, affecting adults and children, it is very important to be able to know what to look for in determining if someone is having a stroke. Quick action can help to save lives and reduce disability after stroke. Please share this article so that others can be informed.
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