We have all seen the stroke adverts on what to look out for, haven’t we? But how confident are you when it comes to recognising and assisting someone experiencing a stroke?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Did You know?

Around 150,000 people in the UK suffer a stroke each year. They are most common in the elderly, but can also affect people of all ages; particularly those with high blood pressure. As we age, our arteries become harder and narrower and more likely to become blocked. However, certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors can speed up this process and increase your risk of having a stroke.

Strokes can be caused by a blockage (clot), or bleeding in the brain, which will affect the oxygen supply to the brain, and cause brain cells to become damaged. Strokes can be thought of as a ‘brain attack’ and are fatal in about one-third of cases.

Can you recover from a stroke?

Each stroke is different. Some people may have relatively minor effects which don’t last long, whereas others may be left with more serious problems. This often leads to the casualty becoming dependent on other people.

Sadly, this isn’t always something people can recover from. Approximately one in eight people die within 30 days of experiencing a stroke. Recognising the symptoms and seeking medical help are therefore paramount for a speedy recovery. A good recovery is reliant on treatment being given quickly.

The signs and symptoms of strokes vary depending on which part of the brain has been damaged, and so the best way to test for a stroke is the BE FAST test.

 

BE FAST:
B – Balance:
Loss of Balance, Headaches or Dizziness
E – Eyes:
Blurred Vision
__________________
F – Face:
One Side of The Face is Drooping
A – Arms:
Arm or Leg Weakness
S – Speech:
Speech difficulty
T – Time:
Time to Call For Ambulance Immediately

So, what should we look for?

Possible Signs and Symptoms:
  • Confusion
  • Numbness, weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty finding words or understanding speech
  • Blurred vision or loss of sight
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A severe headache
  • Unequal pupil size
  • Lowered levels of consciousness

What should we do?

Treatment:
  • Be prepared to use your emergency plan
  • Call an ambulance
  • Offer reassurance, the casualty may be able to hear and understand you, but not be able to respond

So remember- BE FAST and the casualty will be in safe hands!

If you found this information helpful, or think this will be beneficial to your family, friends or colleagues, please feel free to share!
Categories: First Aid Blog

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Richard Craddock

Richard is the Managing Director at SkillBase First Aid

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