View Full Version : Recognizing A Stroke

04-20-2005, 21:01
I recently received an email, about this subject from a family member, and thought it would be something to post here. But I decided that before I posted it, I would verify the information with the American Stroke Association, a sub-part of the American Heart Association. My intention here are simple, to give people the information needed, so that they may be able recognize a stroke.

Here is there reply;

"We are pleased that you contacted your American Stroke Association (a division of the American Heart Association) for information.

In response to your email, yes there are three questions you can ask to recognize a stroke:

This might be a lifesaver if you can remember the following advice, sent by a nurse, whose husband is a medical doctor.

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. A stroke victim may suffer permanent brain damage when people fail to recognize what's happening. Now, doctors say any bystander can recognize a stroke, simply by asking three questions:

ask the individual to smile.
ask him or her to raise both arms.
ask the person to speak a simple sentence.
If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 911 immediately, and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. Researchers are urging the general public to learn to ask these three questions quickly, to someone they suspect of having a stroke. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of a stroke, and prevent permanent brain damage.

This is accurate information. This study was done in February 2003. Below is the link where you can read more about this study.

http://www.strokeassociation.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3008841 (http://www.strokeassociation.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3008841)

We hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to write again or call 1-888-4STROKE.

The American Heart Association/The American Stroke Association has not evaluated, made any determination about quality or value and does not endorse any information, service, product or company represented by the above hyperlink. You should use your own judgment about the quality and necessity of information/products/services available for your own condition.

Thank you,

Tami Layne-Voorhis

Stroke Warmline Team

American Heart Association and American Stroke Association

Service Center

888-4STROKE "

05-01-2005, 15:09
Just, wanted to keep this article current, so that people would see it.

05-01-2005, 15:49
Just, wanted to keep this article current, so that people would see it.
Thank you for the info.

05-01-2005, 20:45
Good post!

Many people still follow the OLD adage that a stroke isn't treatable. However, with today's new: diagnostics, medications & other treatments, most strokes (or CVAs) are very treatable, especially if treatment starts early, as soon after onset as possible. So as the article states, if you suspect a stroke, call 911 (or whatever your emergency number is) IMMEDIATLY! Remember, a stroke isn't necissarily a totally debilitating "the whole left side is numb" type of thing, It could be as simple as the inability to smile, or talk, or even to say certan words (my dad in law couldnt say "No" after his first one).

Again: thanks for the post!

BTW: They can happen to ANYONE, at ANY AGE!!! Even to a 6 month old.


03-21-2009, 07:18
I had a stroke in July 2007, and I had no idea what was going on, just because I was so damned scared of what was going on. I didn't have a sudden unexplained headache: It was a headache all right but it was in my sinuses, just like someone had poured Tabasco up my nose. It was awful. My right side did go weak, I did have trouble seeing, but again, I was so scared that I didn't know what was happening even though I had training in what symptoms to look for. When it happens to you sometimes it's hard to respond correctly. I thought my speech was perfectly clear. Turns out only one person could understand what I was trying to say.

The information you have put in this thread on what to do and what to look for is solid gold. Strokes are, unfortunately, a very common occurence. This info is essential.

In my case, the stroke left me with a somewhat limp right leg....but not limp enough to keep me off the AT! One thing to keep in mind:You can be in the best shape in the world, but if you don't watch the salt, the fat, the cholesterol, and your blood pressure, you're playing Russian roulette with your health. I was bicycling 7 miles a day to work and back, working out with weights, and hiking. The doctors said that I recovered as fast as I did because I was in such good physical shape. But it still didn't stop me from having the stroke. Take care of yourselves, watch what you eat, and hike, hike, hike!

03-21-2009, 07:31
Something I forgot to mention in my last post: Don't forget to get a physical at least once a year. It will let you know what's going on.
I HATE bloodwork, and I have passed out many times. But it is absolutely essential to have it done. I tell the people at the lab, up front, that I'm a big chicken and that a) I need to lie down for the bloodwork b) please use a butterfly needle! Let them know...they appreciate it.

If I had paid more attention to these things maybe I would have averted my stroke. Don't let it happen to you.

03-21-2009, 09:02
Salt, fat consumption, and your cholesterol levels have little if anything to do with having a stroke. Most are ischemic, that is, they are caused by a little chunk of sclerotic plaque breaking off from the inside of an artery somewhere and lodging inside a tiny artery in your brain. Atherosclerosis is caused by excessive consumption of refined carbohydrate, combined with too much saturated fat (the manmade partially hydrogenated version being particularly troublesome). Dr Barry Sear's Zone Diet or the Paleo Diet (or both) is your best prevention. The human animal did not evolve to eat bread and sugar. Elevated triglycerides are probably the single most important blood test, along with a CRP (C-reactive protein).

The strokes that strike young people are usually caused by some sort of heart defect (atrial-septal, IE a hole in your heart wall) that causes blood clots. It takes a physician who is skilled in listening to heart sounds to detect this, most aren't.

Strokes caused by a clot have a three hour time frame from first symptom until it is too late to treat them with "clot buster" drugs like TPA. If you even think you may have symptoms, note the time and write it down and make a decision to seek treatment quickly, if you are alone, you'll need to call for transport, get to the hospital ER, and get shuttled to radiology for a CAT scan to ensure you don't have a stroke caused by a bleed. If you do have a hemmorhagic stroke and they give you TPA, you'll likely die, so a bleeder has to be ruled out. All this takes time, so if you wait two hours to call the paramedics, you may have sealed your own fate.

03-21-2009, 11:10
I should have clarified my statement about salt, fat, cholesterol, and blood pressure. These are things that aren't very good for your health...period. As to whether they caused my stroke, not even the cardiologist and the host of other doctors who worked on me for the month I was in the hospital could ever say...not even now. However, I was put on a diet that severely restricts the salt, the fat, and the cholesterol to keep my blood pressure down, which MAY have CONTRIBUTED to my stroke. And, yes, a part of that diet is staying away from refined sugar and limiting my bread consumption to little or nothing. Have I felt deprived on this diet? Not at all.
I will do what it takes not to have another stroke. My blood pressure was sky high before my stroke. Now it's where it should be. Ditto with the cholesterol levels.

03-21-2009, 12:48
Thanks for the info...might want to also add that for the elderly crowd who live alone the various life alert devices/services can make a big difference...my mother has been in a nursing home for over 9 years after she suffered her stroke while home alone.

Doctor told me the damage she suffered would not have been as severe if she had had one of those things...while she was having her stroke it affected her speech and the 911 operator thought it was a bad call and didn't send anyone until she called 911 THREE times...almost an hour later.

The damage was done by that time.

03-21-2009, 13:22
To me the scariest part of the whole stroke was that I was to go hiking the AT in the Taconics that weekend. The stroke happened on a Wed.
Three days later and there would have been some BIG problems. Since I have gotten back on my feet, literally (I had to learn how to walk all over again) I have worked part-time at a retirement community near here. I can't tell you how many medical emergencies have been dealt with promptly either because there were pull cords nearby or the persons were wearing those alarm devices.

03-21-2009, 19:48
Yep. My mom had a sudden stroke at the age of 42, back in 1972. It was very scary. She says she has no residual problems, but she does. Her memory for things before the stroke is mush. She can't remember what years her children were born, for example. Not big problems, but she was effected. Couldn't speak for quite some time after the stroke, as well. Strokes are sudden ad scary, and you don't have to be old to have one.

Thanks for the info.

03-21-2009, 21:28
Thanks for the post. This and also heart attack symptoms are things people should know about and heed. Hikers have died from heart attacks on the trail.
And I was worked up for one while I was on the AT in '07, at the Carlisle Medical Center. Turned out to be my gallbladder from the half gallon challenge (!), but as the doc said - better to rule it out than have you drop dead on the trail (he did say this exact thing too).

03-21-2009, 21:37
Well i'm not hiking I'm a RN thats my other hobby :) And it you have any risk factors well stay out of the woods I hate to find you as possum bait.

03-24-2009, 10:31
Your link doesn't work for me