First Aid for Stroke

What would you do in stroke emergency circumstances? How could you help the victim of a suspected stroke prior to the emergency medical assistance arrives?

To know the answer to all the above questions, you need some background understanding about strokes.

What is Stroke?

A stroke can be termed as a cerebrovascular accident or CVA, which is witnessed when blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to the brain damage and some part of the brain does not receive the blood flow it needs. The nerve cells depleted of oxygen in the affected part of the brain are then unable to work well leading to death within minutes. The traumatic influence of a stroke is often long lasting because brain cells cannot be replaced.

Symptoms of Stroke

Here are the most general signs and symptoms to look for pertaining to strokes.

  • The victim of a stroke generally feels weakness, numbness or paralysis like feeling in the face, arm or leg on any one side of the body.

  • The victim may feel that their vision has blurred or cut down, especially in any one eye.

  • The victim may have trouble in speaking or understanding.

  • The victim may report of having a severe, sudden and unreasonable headache.

  • The brain may be affected by deplete of oxygen leading to the deviation of the eyes. Therefore the patient would become unequal in size and non-reactive to light.

First Aid Stroke

First aid to stroke victim should be extended as a part of supportive care until medical assistance arrives. Yet, do not undermine this role. Caring for the victim with a calming and soothing presence and collecting vital medical data to pass onto the emergency medical professional is also a great role to play.

You can do this by tracking mental notes of the above signs and symptoms and by adhering to the following the steps:

  • Call 911 to inform emergency medical services immediately.

  • If you are trained in CPR, check and keep a watch on victim’s airway, breathing, and circulation using your CPR and First Aid stroke training expertise.

  • Lay the victim down with their head and shoulders slightly lifted. This will diminish blood pressure on the brain.

  • If the victim is not responding but breathing, place him on his left side with his chin extended. This will serve the two purposes. It will help in keeping the victim’s air passage open and allow vomit and secretions to flush out from his mouth.

  • Never give a stroke victim anything to consume. Their throat may be paralyzed prohibiting them from the ability to swallow.

  • Encourage the victim to stay calm and relax without moving and reassure them help is on the way to take care for him.

Association Between TIA and CVA

TIA’s or Transient Ischemic Attacks are also generally termed as “mini-strokes”, as the signs and symptoms are more or less the same. CVA and TIA, are closely linked and have similar symptom, the only difference is that the symptoms of a TIA are for short period of time. Victim’s symptoms generally last from a few minutes to a few hours, and eventually return to normal neurological working of the brain. Victims of a TIA should acknowledge this warning as a sign of a potential stroke as nearly one-third of TIA cases are followed by a CVA after a lapse of two to five years post their first TIA.

Startling Statistics

The general condition of high blood pressure can result in many dangerous medical conditions along with a stroke. One out of every four people in the United States suffers from high blood pressure.

How to Keep Blood Pressure Under Check

Simply because a person does not feel ill that doesn’t mean his or her blood pressure is normal. In most cases, people with high blood pressure have no signs to warn them they have this condition. Having your blood pressure checked and tracked often can alert you early if you are at the verge of this medical condition. High blood pressure cannot be controlled by staying calm or relax. It is more of a physical condition than an emotional outburst that can be treated by changes in regular diet, unhealthy eating habits and medication though it cannot be cured in many cases.

  • Eating less salt in the foods you eat, shedding weight, getting more exercise and quitting smoking can assist lower your blood pressure in several cases.

  • If your doctor prescribes a drug for high blood pressure, take your pills regularly to keep your pressure under control and possibly avoid having a stroke.

  • If you have not been trained in a First Aid Stroke and CPR course, make sure to seek emergency medical assistance in any type of emergency situation. Improper care can often be more harmful than beneficial. A few basic courses in CPR and first aid stroke are suggested for preparation prior to a medical emergency arises. These training classes are neither time consuming nor expensive. Community groups all over the country offer this type of training and these training courses will take only a few hours of your time. You could assist saving a life.

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