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Monday, August 3, 2009

Know the Symptoms of a Stroke

by Dorothy E Ross PhD CCC-SLP
Published: at August 2, 2009

Why is it important to know the symptoms of a stroke?
Twenty years ago, if you had a stroke, there was no treatment available. Doctors could only help you with the after effects. They could not help the stroke itself. At that time, if you had a stroke, there was usually no rush to go to the hospital. You might call your doctor, and he would make an appointment to see you in two or three days.

What can help a stroke?
Now there is a drug that will help lessen the effects of a stroke. This drug is called t-PA. This drug can be very effective in making strokes less severe.

However, in order to work, t-PA has to be given within 3 hours of the beginning of the stroke. Before t-PA can be given, you have to have tests to make sure that the treatment will be effective. In order to allow time for the whole process, you need to arrive in the hospital within one hour of the beginning of the stroke. Currently, only 3-5% of people who have strokes arrive at the hospital in time to receive t-PA.

What are the symptoms of a stroke?
Everyone should know the symptoms of a stroke. There is an easy to remember acronym to remember the main symptoms – FAST
F – Facial weakness, especially on one side
A – Arm weakness
S – Speech is slurred, or the person is unable to speak
T – Time is critical, go to the hospital!

Besides the symptoms just mentioned, there are many more symptoms that can indicate a stroke. Since the brain controls all the body functions, a stroke can affect almost any body function. Any sudden change in your abilities could be a stroke.

Some of the most common other symptoms are "HaVe BeeF"
H - Headache
V- Visual problems
B- Balance problems
F- Falling

If you think you having a stroke, tell the 911 operator and emergency workers so that they can get you help faster.

This is my own original article, that I wrote myself. Feel free to use it in any way you like. Let me know if you think it needs any changes for your purposes.


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