First Aid for Stroke
A stroke is a medical emergency case and a quick intervention may increase a person's chance to stay survival and reduce the risk of long-term disability.
First aid for stroke:
- There are different forms of stroke with each one having a different cause.
- How quickly the stroke was treated plays a significant role in stroke recovery.
- Stroke symptoms vary in severity.
- Even if the symptoms of a stroke resolve quickly, immediate medical attention is still necessary.
First steps in dealing with stroke
- Remain calm.
- Ensure the surrounding area is safe and that there is no imminent danger, such as from moving vehicles.
- Talk to the person. Ask them their name and other questions. If the individual is unable to speak, ask them to squeeze your hand in response to questions. If the person does not respond, they are likely unconscious.
- Gently place them into a comfortable position. Ideally, they should be lying on their side with their head and shoulders slightly raised and supported with a pillow or item of clothing. After this, try not to move them.
- Loosen any tight clothing, such as buttoned-up shirt collars or scarves.
- If they are cold, use a blanket or coat to keep them warm.
- Check that their airway is clear. If there are objects or substances, such as vomit, in the mouth that may be hindering breathing, place the person on their side in the recovery position (see below).
- Reassure the person. Tell them that help is on the way.
- Do not give them any food or liquids.
- Note the person's symptoms and look for any changes in condition. It is important to give the emergency personnel as much information as possible about the situation.
- Try to remember the time that the symptoms started, look at a clock if possible. It is hard to estimate the passage of time when you are in a stressful situation.
At the hospital, doctors will examine the person and may carry out tests such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or a computed tomography (CT) scan to help confirm the diagnosis. These imaging techniques can also help doctors discover the cause of the stroke.
- Treatment options include:
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Lifestyle changes
* If the stroke happened within the last few hours, doctors might administer certain medications to address blood clots and reduce the risk of long-term effects.