Signs of a Stroke

As I shared on yesterday’s post, May is Better Speech and Hearing Month.  Today, I wanted to take some time to share about the signs of stroke.   I found the following bit of information on our American Speech and Hearing Association Web-site:

What is a stroke?

A stroke is when a clogged or burst artery interrupts blood flow to the brain. This interruption of blood flow deprives the brain of needed oxygen and causes the affected brain cells to die. When brain cells die, function of the body parts they control is impaired or lost.

A stroke can cause paralysis or muscle weakness, loss of feeling, speech and language problems, memory and reasoning problems, swallowing difficulties, problems of vision and visual perception, coma, and even death.

The National Stroke Association is another great resource.  This is from their web-site…

Use FAST to remember the warning signs:

  FACE:

Ask the person to smile.
Does one side of the face droop?

 
 

ARMS:

Ask the person to raise both arms.
Does one arm drift downward?

 
 

SPEECH:

Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase.
Is their speech slurred or strange?

 
 

TIME:

If you observe any of these signs,
call 9-1-1 immediately.

 

 NOTE THE TIME WHEN ANY SYMPTOMS FIRST APPEAR. If given within three hours of the first symptom, there is an FDA-approved clot-buster medication that may reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke. There are also two other types of stroke treatment available that might help reduce the effects of stroke. Read more about stroke treatment.

Strokes are serious and deserve prompt medical attention.  My grandfather had many strokes during his latter years of life.  Each one took away a piece of him.  Ultimately he died in a nursing home.  Recently, a high school friend of mine posted a story on Facebook about a friend of hers our age (early 30s) who had a stroke in an airport.  She was traveling alone with her children.  She thought it was a migraine.  It was a stroke.  She is still in recovery. 

Please take the time to educate yourself about strokes, empathize with those who lives are touched directly or indirectly by a stroke, and celebrate the gift of a brain that works.  God gives us one brain.  Let us be thankful, wise, and healthy.

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