STROKE : F.A.S.T.

This was on Facebook, making its rounds over the past few weeks. At a glance, it seemed trivial, or at most a nuisance kind of post. But a quick read over the first few paragraphs changed our perception. Maybe this simple knowledge would be of help to us some day, and maybe save someone’s life.

The Facts :

According to the The Star, Tuesday October 25, 2005, STROKE has become Malaysia’s number three killer after heart disease and cancer, with an average of 110 people dying of it every day, reported China Press.

Prof Dr Tan Chong Tin, senior consultant at the Neurology Clinic of the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre, said that according to the centre’s statistics on stroke in 1994, 59% of the patients were male and the patients’ average age was 62. Dr Tan said 70% of stroke patients who recovered stopped taking part in social activities, 30% needed assistance in coping with daily life and 15% died within a month.

He said the majority of the patients were Chinese, followed by 29% of Malays and 21% of Indians.

STROKE IDENTIFICATION

During a party, a woman stumbled and took a fall, just a small one. Flustered, other guests fussed over her. “I’m alright”, she assured everyone. “I just tripped over a brick because of these new shoes”. Someone offered to call for an ambulance, but she refused. “I am really alright”. 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.

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 recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

RECOGNIZING A STROKE

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 recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

If given within 3 hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke. A bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions :

F  –  FACE Ask the individual to SMILE ..

A –  Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS .

S  –   SPEECH Ask the person to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (eg ‘It is sunny out today’).

T  –  TIME to call the ambulance

If the victim has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call the ambulance and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is by asking 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.

Is This Guide Any Good? Is It Worth Sharing?

The procedure mentioned in this message to identify a stroke is valid one. In fact, it is the medical procedure to check the symptoms of a person and decide if he is undergoing a stroke. This procedure was outlined in 28th International Stroke Conference of American Stroke Association.

The report submitted in this conference says, ” a bystander may be able to spot someone having a stroke by giving the person a simple, quick test to see if they can smile, raise both arms and keep them up, and speak a simple sentence coherently.”

The picture below explains how blood clot in the brain arrests the basic senses and leads to stroke.

blood clot

Obviously, this information is worth sharing, because it can save someone’s life. Please be aware of the warning signs of stroke in the reference section.

According the American Stoke Association, the signs of stroke includes, but not limited to :

a)  Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

b)  Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

c)  Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

d)  Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

e)  Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

For More Information, visit :

Malaysia’s National Stroke Association Malaysia (NASAM)
American Stroke Association
Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canada
The Stroke Foundation Australia 

About ansaraseremban
Alumni MRSM Seremban MRSM Seremban ditubuhkan tahun 1972. Ansara Seremban mempunyai 1800 ahli. Kini bernaung di bawah ANSARA dan bergerak sebagai cabang dikenali dengan ANSARA Seremban.

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