What is a Stroke?
A stroke happens when blood flow to part of the brain is blocked by either a clot or a bleed, this is a common medical emergency in the elderly but can also happen to anyone at any time.
How do you know if someone is having a stroke? Think… F.A.S.T.
Using the F.A.S.T. test involves asking these simple questions:
- Face Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
- Arms Can they lift both arms?
- Speech Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
- Time Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.
Fire in the Brain – FAST TVC from Stroke Foundation.
Think F.A.S.T Act FAST
A stroke is always a medical emergency. The longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of stroke related brain damage. Emergency medical treatment soon after symptoms begin improves the chance of survival and successful rehabilitation.
Facial weakness, arm weakness and difficulty with speech are the most common symptoms or signs of stroke, but they are not the only signs.
Other signs of stroke may include one, or a combination of:
- Weakness or numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg on either or both sides of the body
- Difficulty speaking or understanding
- Dizziness, loss of balance or an unexplained fall
- Loss of vision, sudden blurring or decreased vision in one or both eyes
- Headache, usually severe and abrupt onset or unexplained change in the pattern of headaches
- Difficulty swallowing
The signs of stroke may occur alone or in combination and they can last a few seconds or up to 24 hours and then disappear. When symptoms disappear within 24 hours, this episode may be a mini stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA).
What to do while you wait for an Ambulance…
- If the person is conscious, Keep them upright (Seated), if they are unable to support their own head, lay them down on their side with their head slightly raised and supported.
- Do not give them anything to eat or drink. Loosen any restrictive clothing that could cause breathing difficulties.
If weakness is obvious in any limb, support it and avoid pulling on it when moving the person.
- If they are unconscious, check their breathing and put them on their side. If they are not breathing start CPR straight away.
- If you are unsure how to perform CPR, book a course now here or the ambulance call taker will give instructions over the phone.
If you or someone else experiences the signs of stroke, no matter how long they last, call 000 immediately.
Book a first aid course for Stroke here or call for more information on 07 5520 5068.