Stroke is the second leading cause of death and disability in India. The rate of a stroke has doubled in the past few decades. As per All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), every year, approximately 1.8 million people suffer from a stroke in India. Which is an alarming number. While it is important for everyone to understand what is a stroke and what are its causes. What is even more valuable to know is the symptoms and the ‘Golden Hour’. That is because it is key for a person having a stroke to be rushed to a hospital immediately for effective treatment options. Keep reading to know how to recognize a stroke and why rushing a person having a stroke within the golden hour is crucial.
A person suffers from a stroke when the blood supply to a part of the brain is reduced or blocked. Further preventing the brain tissue from receiving oxygen and nutrients. This compels the brain cells to die within minutes. People who smoke, drink alcohol, have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart diseases are at high chances of having a stroke. Nevertheless, how could anyone identify if they or anyone they are with is having a stroke?
First and foremost, pay attention to the warning signs. Some of the commonly noticed signs and symptoms are:
- Trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Numbness/Paralysis of arms, face, and legs
- Headache followed by dizziness
- Blurred, blackened or double vision in one or both eyes
- Trouble walking
As soon as you recognize these symptoms, immediately rush the person to a nearby hospital. The sooner the person having a stroke reaches the hospital the chances of effective treatment is higher. However, it is essential to get the person to the hospital within the first hour of them experience a stroke. Whenever a patient reached the hospital in the first hour, they received a powerful blood clotting drug called TPA. Hence, the first hour is considered golden because the chances of surviving and avoiding long-term brain damage are greater.
However, there are chances you will notice the symptoms come and go. At this point you need to think FAST and do the following:
Face: Firstly, ask the person to smile. Check if one side of the face is drooping.
Arms: Secondly, ask the person to raise their arms. Check if one arm drifts downwards.
Speech: Next, ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Notice if their speech is slurred or strange.
Time: If you notice any of these signs, call for the ambulance at once.
By the time you reach the hospital, you should try and keep the patient as comfortable as you can, cover them so that there is less heat loss and keep talking to the person.
Now that you know how important it is to identify the symptoms of stroke and immediately rush the person to a nearby hospital within the golden hour, make sure to stay alert and think FAST. The sooner the patient is given medical attention, the better it is for the health of the person.