From My Dad (who received it from a co-worker):
During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics). The friend said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. So, they got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, she went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening.
Later that evening, however, the woman's husband called telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital. She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps the stroke could be avoided. Not everyone dies from a stroke, however, many end up with lasting effects or a deteriorated condition.
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke. The trick is getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. However, the neurologist does recommend everyone learn the '4' steps, STRS.
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. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking four simple questions to someone they believe may have just experienced a stroke:
- S *Ask the individual to SMILE.
- T *Ask the person to TALK (i.e. speak a simple sentence, coherently: "It is sunny out today", etc.).
- R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
- S *Ask him or her to STICK OUT THEIR TONGUE (i.e. if the tongue is crooked or it moves from one the side of the mouth to the other, then they may have suffered a stroke).
If he or she has trouble with ANY of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.