At Action Training and Consultancy Services we are looking at strokes, what they are, what to do if we suspect someone is having a stroke.
The Stroke Association (www.stroke.org.uk) produced a 46-page report on the state of the nation when it comes to strokes.
Did you know there are more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year?
- Strokes are the fourth biggest killer in the in the UK.
- Around 1 in 6 men will have a stroke in their life and 1 in 5 women.
- Strokes can affect people of any age.
- Around one in four strokes happen to people of working age.
- More than one child every day has a stroke and three-quarters of these are in children under 10 years old.
- We should all be aware of the symptoms and what we should do if we think someone (or ourselves) is having a stroke.
What is a Stroke?
There are two main types of stroke and the most common cause (85% of strokes) is a blood clot blocking a blood vessel supplying a part of the brain. The other is caused when a blood vessel ruptures, resulting in an area of the brain being ‘squashed’ by the pressure of the blood. In either type of Stroke, the signs and symptoms are very similar and like all organs, the brain needs the oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function properly. If the supply of blood is restricted or stopped, brain cells begin to die. This can lead to brain injury, disability and possibly death. Some people have a small Stroke, sometimes called a mini-stroke. These are like strokes but after a mini stroke you get better in a day or two. The signs are the same as for a stroke but may not be as severe. If you see someone having one of these, you still need to phone 999 for an ambulance straight away.
Could you spot the signs of a Stroke?
It’s vital to know how to spot the warning signs of a stroke. Using the FAST test is the best way to do this.
Watch the video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8saTsVFFr4
Face: has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile? Has their mouth or eye dropped?
Arms: can they raise both arms and keep them there?
Speech: is their speech slurred? Can they understand what you say?
Time: to call 999 if you see any single one of these signs of a stroke.
Even if the symptoms disappear while you’re waiting for the ambulance, it’s still important to go to the hospital for an assessment. It is better to go to the hospital even if you’re not sure that it is a stroke.
It is vital you call for help straight away, as an estimated 1.9 million neurons in the brain are lost every minute a stroke is untreated.
The speed of treatment can have a dramatic impact on the person’s recovery, but often it is delayed because helpers phone a doctor instead of 999.
Other Symptoms and Signs may include:
- complete paralysis of one side of the body (or weakness or numbness)
- sudden loss or blurring of vision, in one or both eyes
- dizziness, unsteadiness or a sudden fall, especially with any of the other symptoms
- sudden confusion or memory loss
- difficulty understanding what others are saying problems with balance and co-ordination
- difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- a sudden and very severe headache resulting in a blinding pain, unlike anything experienced before
- loss of consciousness
At the hospital an urgent scan is required to find out the cause of the stroke so that the correct treatment can be given quickly. The sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.
At Action Training we teach you what to do in case of a stroke.
- While you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive try to keep the casualties head and shoulders raised.
- Do not offer them any food or drink, as they may not be able to swallow effectively.
- If they are unconscious put them in the recovery position, make sure the airways are clear.
- Keep reassuring the person and don’t assume that they won’t understand.
- If you can monitor and record breathing, pulse and levels of response that would be fantastic information for the paramedics when they arrive.
Read more at www.nhs.uk/actfast
Knowing what to look out for could save someone’s life, or even your own.