SMS scnews item created by Janet Thomas at Mon 21 Nov 2005 1035
Type: Info
Distribution: World

# Stroke recognition - early & life saving

Dear All Our St John Ambulance Div Supt forwards info to our members as he comes across
it.  I pass these on as you may be in this type of situation and be thankful you had the
info stored away in the "trivia" section of your brain.

Scenario

- a bbq guest stumbles and has a minor fall, drops her plate of food.  Says she is OK
and refuses offers to call ambulance.  Blames it on tripping over a brick because of her
her new shoes.  Appears a bit shaken up.  Dies in hospital later that evening.  Had a
stroke at the bbq.

Outlook if prompt recognition and treatment

- neurologist says if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours then the outlook is
very good with little or no ill effects.  The tricky part is recognition, diagnosis and
treatment all within 3 hours of initial episode.

Recognising a stroke

1.  *ask the person to SMILE*

2.  *ask them to RAISE BOTH ARMS*

3.  *ask the person to REPEAT A SIMPLE SENTENCE* (Coherently) e.g.  "It is sunny out
today"

If the person has any difficulty with ANY of these tasks, CALL EMERGENCY IMMEDIATELY and
describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

The above test was found to be the simplest way for a bystander to identify facial
weakness, arm weakness and speech problems exhibited by a stroke victim.

Presented at the American Stroke Association’s annual meeting February 2005.

Janet


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