Nervous System

Your Smile Can Tell if You are Suffering from Stroke

atnurse
Are you suffering from Stroke?

In the past several years as a nurse, I have witnessed many people become devastated from losing a loved one to stroke. I myself lost a dear friend who was then only 37 due to this deadly disease. Still another friend has been enduring the after effects of her husband’s stroke attack for more than a year now.

There is no way of knowing when this thief will visit your doorstep, but there are ways you can recognize the sudden threats of this unforeseen danger. I am sharing this post in the hope of helping you save a loved one.

What is a Stroke?

“A stroke or “brain attack” occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happen, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs.”

When a blood clot blocks the Oxygen supply to the brain it is called “Ischemic Stroke”. When a blood vessel breaks and bleeds inside the brain it is called “Hemorrhagic Stroke”. There is also a case called “Transient Ischemic Attack” or “mini-stroke” where symptoms of stroke appear in or within 24 hours then disappears.

What are the Symptoms of Stroke and What to do in an Emergency?

Stroke symptoms include:
Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body.
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Stroke organizations have created a FAST way to recognize a victim of stroke and what actions need to be taken. A simple smile can tell you if they are suffering from a stroke.

atnurse
Act FAST

Important: If you notice any of these signs above, immediately bring the victim to the nearest “TERTIARY” hospital. The brain can only survive for 2-3 minutes without Oxygen without having serious irreversible damage. This varies from person to person though, but the safest is to get help within the “golden window” of 10 minutes to minimize permanent damage.

What are the Risk Factors for Stroke?

Controllable Risk Factors:
High Blood Pressure
Atrial Fibrillation (Abnormal heart beat)
High Cholesterol
Diabetes
Atherosclerosis (Fat build up in the arteries)
Circulation Problems (e.g. Anemia, blood thickening)
Smoking
Alcohol Use
Physical Inactivity
Obesity

Uncontrollable Risk Factors:
Age
Gender
Race
Family History
Previous Stroke
Fibromuscular Dysplasia (Narrowed Arteries)
Patent Foramen Ovale (Hole in the Heart)

atnurse
Stroke Scorecard

There is no way we can ascertain that by doing these things we are immune to this disease, but there is one more thing that we can do to make our short stay in this world significant. We can be assured of eternal life if today we decide to have a relationship with Jesus and choose to follow Him.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Resources:

What is a Stroke: http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=stroke
Symptoms of Stroke: http://www.dmhcares.org/services/BrainStroke/signs.aspx
Stroke Scorecard: http://www.stroke.org/site/DocServer/scorecard_risk.pdf?docID=601
Media File Credit: http://www.examiner.com/article/ucla-stroke-center-wins-prestigious-award

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