Recently I preformed an exam on a patient that had no deep tendon reflexes on the right side of her body. This indicates that the patient had suffered a stroke at some point in their life. Fortunately there were no other residual side effects.
The same day I preformed the exam I received an email on ways to help a stroke victim survive. I am passing this information on to you hoping you never have to use it.
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
The trick to remembering how to help a STROKE victim is to remember the first three letters of the word “STROKE” — STR.
S *Ask the individual to SMILE.
T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. It is sunny out today)
R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. These are signs someone is suffering from a stroke. The only thing that can help is immediate medical attention.
NOTE: Another ’sign’ of a stroke is this: Ask the person to ’stick’ out his tongue.. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.
I hope you never have to use this information, but in the event of a problem you may recall one of the mentioned ideas and save someone’s life.