Four signs of a stroke

By Ken Perrott 25/10/2010 3

Here’s some important information which could save lives.

Four simple indicators of a stoke.

I received this short story by email recently. It illustrates the importance of rapid stroke identification:

During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall – she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) .she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.

They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening

Ingrid’s husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital – (at 6:00 PM Ingrid passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don’t die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.

Neurologists say if they can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours they can totally reverse the effects of a stroke…totally. The trick is getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Recognise the symptoms

STROKE: Remember the 1st Four Letters….S.T.R.O.

Bystanders can recognize a stroke by asking four simple questions:

S *
Ask the individual to SMILE.
T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(I.e. It is sunny out today.)
R*Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of the first three tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

O* Ask him to stick O*UT HIS TONGUE.

If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other,that is also an indication of a stroke.


Smile – Talk – Arms – Tongue

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3 Responses to “Four signs of a stroke”

  • Some of the symptoms that a person may expect to experience during the occurrence of a mini stroke include such issues as blurry vision, feelings of dizziness, confusion, numbness in certain areas of the body, difficulty speaking and being unable to move a specific area of the body usually limited to one side of the body.

  • There’s a pathological entity known as transient ischaemic attack (TIA) in which the initial stroke-like symptoms resolve. Such a person is at risk of later having the full ischaemic stroke the diagram depicts. It sounds likely that the person in the email had one of these.
    I believe that the treatment you mention for stroke within three hours of symptom onset is thrombolysis. It can reduce (not reverse) the effects of stroke but is a high risk treatment that can also turn the ischaemic stroke into a cerebral haemorrhage. Neurologists juggle the potential benefit of treatment against the potential risks.

  • The common method taught now is FAST :-
    F ace – look for any asymmetry
    A rms – Ask pt to close eyes and raise both arms
    S peech – ask their name, where they are, what day it is
    T ime – How long have they been like this? Call 111 and / or get to ED quick

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