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Recognizing Stroke

Stroke occurs when a blot clot occurs in an already narrowed blood vessel in the brain. Once that clot occurs the brain will be deprived of blood and the neccesary oxygen causing perment brain damage to that area. People may have “mini strokes” in which they suffer from the same signs and symptoms but are only temporary. It is important to inform the casualty that they should go see a doctor as soon as possible because they are at a very high risk of suffering from a full stroke in which they will suffer permanent brain damage.

Here are a few signs and symptoms of a stroke. Paralysis on one side of the body or face, slurred speech (due to partial facial paralysis), dizziness, confusion, unequal sized pupils or changes in levels of conciousness.

Here are a few questions you can ask the casualty that you are expecting to have had a stroke.

1. Ask them to smile. If they cannot smile fully it may be because they have a partial face paralysis.

2. Ask them questions that they need to respond to. If they are incoherent or slur their speech they may have partial paralysis to the face or they are confused.

3. Ask them to raise both arms. If they cannot raise both arms they may have paralysis to one side of their body.

This will help you identify facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems. The quicker you recognize the signs of stroke the faster you can get them to the hospital and reduce the chances of getting permeant brain damage.

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