– Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC Tuesday, May 19th 2009
Facts about a stroke:
Definition: The rapidly developing loss of brain function(s) due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain.
Causes: A lack of blood supply, caused by thrombosis, embolism or a hemorrhage.
- The affected area of the brain is unable to function.
- Inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body.
- Inability to understand or formulate speech.
- Inability to see one side of the visual field.
The Reality: A stroke is a medical emergency and can cause permanent neurological damage, complications and death. It is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States.
How to identify a stroke:
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Stroke victims may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize these symptoms. According to neurologists, stroke effects can be totally reversed if a victim is treated within 3 hours of the episode. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
- S-Ask the individual to SMILE.
- T-Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE .
- R-Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
Another tip is to ask the person to ‘stick’ out his or her tongue. If the tongue is crooked or goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.