What to Do When Someone Is Having a Stroke
When a person is having a stroke, every second counts. The faster a stroke patient gets to the emergency room , the more brain tissue can be saved. Would you know what to do if you saw someone having a stroke? Here are the steps you need to know that just might save someone’s life.
Spot the Signs
Symptoms of stroke can sometimes be subtle, but if you know what to look for, you can spot them. During a stroke, victims may begin to slur his or her words or have difficulty speaking. You may notice that the face begins to droop on one side. If you suspect someone is having a stroke, ask him or her to raise both arms. If one drifts downward, a stroke could be to blame. Severe headaches, vision problems, and loss of coordination are also possible stroke symptoms. If you see these signs in someone, act quickly to get help.
For the best possible outcomes, stroke patients should receive emergency treatment within 60 minutes of the onset of symptoms. Sooner is even better. If you’re very close to a hospital, bring the person to the emergency room for care. If you’re more than a few minutes from the hospital, dial 911 for ambulance, for faster hospital transfer and so treatment can begin while in transit.
Emergency room doctors may have questions about the symptoms you saw, so stay at the hospital if possible. Depending on your relationship with the stroke victim, you may also be able to provide crucial information about the patient’s medical history and chronic conditions that can help doctors treat the stroke.
The Certified Primary Stroke Center at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks provides comprehensive stroke care, from emergency room to rehabilitation. For questions about stroke treatment and other services in our hospital, please call (805) 497-2727.