Show your support this month for stroke survivors in conjunction with the Stroke Association. Make May Purple is the Stroke Association’s annual stroke awareness month, which takes place every May #StrokeMonth
Recognising a Stroke by Signs and Symptoms
Because the medical management of stroke will vary depending upon the length of time symptoms have been present, and as this will affect prognosis, a prompt recognition of stroke is extremely important.
Keep in mind that stroke symptoms usually come on quite suddenly. They may get worse over time, but they start all of a sudden. (You don’t start to feel worse over the course of a day). You may be sitting at a table and suddenly be unable to hold your coffee cup or get your words out correctly. Signs and symptoms of stroke include sudden onset of weakness on one side, slurred speech or the inability to make your words come out right. A sudden change in the way you walk because one leg is not “acting right” can be a sign of stroke. Some patients notice changes in their ability to see. Loss of balance is another common sign of stroke. Patients who have bleeding around their brain may complain that “they have the worst headache of their life”.
A useful acronym to recognize and respond to stroke is FAST:
- Face – drooping of one side of the face. Ask the person to smile and note if it is uneven.
- Arms – weakness or numbness in one arm. Ask the person to lift both arms. Does one arm drift downward or is the person unable to lift one arm?
- Speech – difficulty in speech. Is the speech slurred? Ask the person to repeat a phrase and note any changes in speech.
- Time – if any of these symptoms are present, it’s time to call 911 immediately.
I’m Having A Stroke! What Should I Do?
It is imperative that you get help and get to a hospital AS SOON AS POSSIBLE following the onset of symptoms of stroke. Treatment for stroke is very time dependent. A clot-busting medication can be given to clear the clot from the vessel, but only if you are at the hospital within 3 hours (4.5 hours for some patients) of onset of symptoms. Call 999 IMMEDIATELY. Do not wait for family members to arrive, do not wait while you pack clothing for the hospital or wait for your family to return a call. The amount of damage done by the stroke is subject to how long the blood vessel remains blocked. Keep in mind that TIME IS BRAIN. For every minute you delay getting care, more brain tissue is being damaged.
Life After A Stroke
A stroke changes lives but it doesn’t have to stop you from doing what you want to. Find out from the Stroke Association about the support you can get to help you get on with your life after a stroke.
Finally Adaptawear would like to make your recovery from stroke as easy as possible and we stock a wide range of discreetly adapted clothing specifically catered to recovering stroke patients. Alternatively do take a look at our stroke factsheet on all about strokes and how we can help.