Would you be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke if it were happening to someone in your immediate area? Strokes are one of the leading causes of death in North America with almost 800,000 individuals suffering from a stroke in the United States alone per year. Of these 800,000, almost 130,000 die as a result.
While many people know what the warning signs of a heart attack are, not as many are as versed when it comes to recognizing the symptomatology that can take place during a stroke. Here are the top warning signs that indicate that a stroke may be occurring:
Drooping face – If a person cannot smile normally or you notice that one side of the face is drooping, this is an indication that a stroke may be occurring.
Weakness of the arm – If one of the arms drifts downwards when both arms are raised it can also be a sign of a stroke.
Difficulty with speech – If you notice that the person is having a hard time speaking or that his speech is slurred, it’s time to take action immediately.
In some cases a person will experience all of the symptoms while in other cases the individual may only demonstrate one or two. If you see even just one of these symptoms you must call 911 right away. When it comes to strokes, the faster the treatment, the better chance of treatment and survival for the patient. Minutes count, so take note of the warning signs so that you can act quickly if you encounter any of them.
Other common symptoms that may accompany a stroke include the following:
- Sudden weakness or numbness of a leg, arm or the face – especially on only the left or right side of the body.
- Severe sudden headache without an apparent cause
- Sudden vision problems in both eyes or only one
- Sudden confusion
- Trouble with dizziness, walking, coordination, or balance that comes on suddenly
In many instances strokes can be prevented when an individual makes healthy lifestyle decisions and attends medical screenings that have been recommended by a physician. As well, a person with first aid training can provide assistance to a stroke victim while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Learn more about first aid for strokes in our First Aid/CPR classes. Visit www.heart2heartcpr.com to see a complete list of the available times and dates for our ongoing courses near you.