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  • A Refresher on Stroke Basics


    An article was recently published about a woman who had been diagnosed with Tonsillitis. The only problem with that is she had actually suffered a Stroke, and had not been given the treatment Stroke patients receive within the ‘Three hour window’ ( the American Heart Association acknowledges this timeline as vital in the administration of clot-busting medication) .

    So what exactly is a Stroke? It’s an interruption in blood flow to the brain that results in the death of brain cells and can have consequences for movement, sensation or emotions. It’s also the 5th leading cause of death and disability in the United States.

    Watch for these signs and symptoms if you think you or someone else may be having a stroke. Pay attention to when the signs and symptoms begin. The length of time they have been present can affect your treatment options:

    · Trouble with speaking and understanding. You may experience confusion. You may slur your words or have difficulty understanding speech.

    · Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg. You may develop sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in your face, arm or leg. This often happens just on one side of your body. Try to raise both your arms over your head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, you may be having a stroke. Also, one side of your mouth may droop when you try to smile.

    · Trouble with seeing in one or both eyes. You may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, or you may see double.

    · Headache. A sudden, severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness, may indicate you're having a stroke.

    · Trouble with walking. You may stumble or experience sudden dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination.

    Surprisingly, there are several conditions which can be mistaken for a Stroke and they include:

    · Seizures

    · Migraines

    · Low or High Blood Pressure

    · Bell’s Palsy

    · Brain Tumor

    · Multiple Sclerosis

    Warning signs of stroke are summarized in the acronym FAST, which the National Stroke Association (NSA) defines as follows:

    · Face: if a person smiles and one side of the face droops

    · Arms: if a person tries to raise both arms but one of them involuntarily drifts downward

    · Speech: if a person slurs their speech when asked to repeat a simple phrase

    · Time: if a person has any of the aforementioned symptoms, call 911 immediately

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