Stroke is a common medical condition around the world and a leading cause of death that may not show any warning sign before striking. It can cause permanent disabilities like paralysis. So when someone experiences stroke-like symptoms, it is essential to administer medical help to them at the earliest.
Dr Apurva Sharma, consultant-neurology, Columbia Asia Hospital, Palam Vihar, says a person suffering from stroke may seem confused, feel weak on one side of the body, and may suddenly be unable to walk or talk in a coherent way. “This happens due to blood flow being restricted to certain parts of the brain, caused by a blockage or leak in a blood vessel. It is important to understand the signs and plan of action when you see someone suffering from the symptoms of stroke,” he adds.
According to the doctor, there is a doctrine of first aid for strokes that must be followed. In case you are alone, it is advisable to find someone to help you follow the first aid.
* Do not wait for symptoms to get better
It can be fatal to wait and see if the symptoms of stroke get better. Since strokes are caused due to blockage in blood supply to the brain, professional medical intervention is necessary.
* Use the F.A.S.T. technique
To confirm if someone is having a stroke, we need to check if they can smile properly, raise their arms, and repeat a sentence, failing which, we must seek medical help.
* Call an ambulance and say the word ‘stroke’
A patient should avoid driving to the hospital. A stroke is a medical emergency, and you might need to take care of medical complications that may arise. It is also better to let them know about the potential stroke diagnosis as they will come better prepared to deal with the situation.
* Keep track of the symptoms
It is better to share the details of the symptoms with a physician for better evaluation of the current situation. We should also share accurate medical history like hypertension, sleep apnea, diabetes and so on.
* Look out for seizures
Observe seizures and monitor vital parameters like BP, pulse, Spo2, breathing movements and any snoring sounds which may require putting an airway protector.
* Don’t eat or drink
If someone is having a stroke, drinking or eating something may choke them and they may die of asphyxiation.
* Stay calm
The most important thing to do is to remain calm. You need to be quick in your responses and reactions when helping someone, but being calm is paramount and haste may lead you to make life-threatening mistakes.
“Just stay vigilant and follow the steps. If you are alone and feel you might be developing symptoms of stroke, ask for help from a nearby person!” Dr Sharma cautions.