Notes: Stroke

Stroke

Some things you might notice in the victim: unconsciousness, paralysis/weakness on one side, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, loss of control of the bladder and bowels, unequal pupil sizes, loss of speech or slurring of speech.

As a test to be more sure whether the victim is having a stroke, ask him to close his eyes and raise both of his arms in front of him at the same time. The arms of a stroke victim will raise at a noticeably uneven rate, with one arm raised normally and the other several inches lower or possibly not raised at all. Have the victim lower his arms before opening his eyes (especially if he has a weak heart or known heart condition) to prevent the victim from feeling too distressed (you’d probably be freaked out too if you knew you were having a stroke). Too much panic can cause susceptible victims to have a heart attack, so keep him calm.

If the victim is having too much difficulty breathing, you may need to lay him down on his side and give artificial respiration.

If the victim is breathing fairly well on his own but is having trouble swallowing, lay him down on his side so the fluids flow out of his mouth rather than choking him.

Minor Stroke

Similar to above and you can still do the arm raise test as an indicator.

Some symptoms that might accompany a minor stroke: headache, confusion, dizziness, ringing in the ears, slight difficulty in speech, memory changes (for the worse), weakness in an arm or leg, and there may be slight personality disturbance.

Minor strokes may occur while sleeping.

It is best to check in on the elderly regularly to make sure they are still healthy and happy. This will keep them in touch with the world and will ensure they get the medical attention they need as soon as possible when they need it. It also helps prevent those rare and unfortunate cases when someone has to bust into an old person’s house because they haven’t been paying their bills only to discover that they’ve been dead for a month and a half. That’s really unpleasant for everyone involved.

 

“The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide” Medical Editor: Charles B. Clayman, MD (ISBN: 0-679-41290-5)

“Standard First Aid and Personal Safety” (“Prepared by the American Red Cross”) (ISBN: 0-385-15736-3)

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