The following simple guidelines were received by email. They offer some simple and practical ways of recognising a stroke. If in doubt, always contact your GP or the emergency services by calling 999 or 112.
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke… totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognised, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognise the symptoms of a stroke.
Recognising a Stroke
Remember the ‘3’ steps, S-T-R. It is said that a bystander can recognise a stroke by asking the person three simple questions:
- S: Ask the individual to SMILE.
- T: Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently, e.g. it is sunny out today)
- R: Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 999 or 112 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
Another step is to ask the person to ‘stick’ out their tongue. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.