May 8, 2018 by Comfort Keepers of Blaine
Do You Know the Symptoms of a Stroke?
A stroke occurs as the blood supply of the brain becomes reduced or cut off, often as a result of a sudden blockage of the arteries to the brain, and sometimes because of brain tissue bleeding from a burst blood vessel. A stroke can potentially cause disability or death and must be treated as an emergency. The good news for many in home care is that strokes can be treated and sometimes prevented. It’s imperative for all adults, and especially anyone working in home care services, to know FAST signs and symptoms of a stroke. Fewer Americans die from a stroke because of recent medical advances so be aware of the most common stroke symptoms so you can potentially save a life. Here’s a list, in support of American Stroke Awareness Month.
Check Arms, Legs, and Face for Unusual Weakness
If there’s sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in the arms, legs, or face, especially on just one side of the body, it may indicate a stroke. If you are working with someone in home care, ask if both arms are able to be lifted overhead at the same time. If one arm cannot lift, call for emergency help.
Speaking Erratically / Not Understanding Speech
If an adult in home care has sudden confusion, slurred speech, or difficulty understanding what you’re saying, better get help quickly.
Strokes often create blurred, blackened or double vision, sometimes in one eye and sometimes both. This is potentially a symptom of stroke.
Dizziness and Headache
Quick treatment is necessary for sudden dizziness and intense headache, especially if accompanied by a seemingly altered consciousness.
Balance / Walking Challenges
Adults in home care services who noticeably stumble, feel dizzy, lose their sense of balance and seem oddly uncoordinated and will need quick assistance.
The FAST Test
Remember the FAST test when you need help determining if someone in home care services might be suffering a stroke, then find help immediately. FAST stands for:
F-Face: Does one side of the face droop when you ask the person to smile?
A-Arms: Can the potential stroke victim raise both arms, or does one arm drift down?
S-Speech: Have the person repeat a simple sentence to see if their speech is okay.
T-Time: If you’ve observed any of these signs, call 911 for immediate medical attention.