One day, when I was in high school, my dad sat me down and told me to look for these things. He also told me that if he suffered a stroke, that I was to load him in the car (not call an ambulance) and take him to a specific hospital. (At the time we lived in the Kansas City area, and St. John's had a state-of-the-art Stroke treatment facility.) He said that an ambulance would have to take him to the nearest hospital, not the one that could do the most good, and that if he got to St. John's in time, they could reverse the effects and keep him from landing in the same condition his dad had been in. Fortunately, I never had to follow his instructions.
If stroke runs in your family, it might not be a bad idea to check out the medical facilities in your area to find one that has specialists in this area. It could make the difference between a few remaining years of being a vegetable and resuming your regularly scheduled life.
STROKE: Remember the 1st Three Letters
S. T. R.
During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics). She said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening.
Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - at 6:00 PM Jane passed away. She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.
If a neurologist can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he may be able to totally reverse the effects of a stroke. The trick is getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.
RECOGNIZING A STROKE
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
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 or statement, coherently (i.e. Chicken Soup)
R *Ask him or her to RAISE both arms.
If he or she has trouble with any ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
Additionally, recently they've added a fourth indicator.
Ask the person to stick out his tongue. If the tongue is crooked, if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.