Wednesday, February 10, 2010

After spotting signs: It's about time

Now you know the signs - face, arms (or legs) and speech.

And please remember - don't wait for all of those signs. One is enough to follow the next important word:

Time. If you even think someone might be having a stroke, it's crucial to get help now. No waiting to see if things will get better on their own. No calling a well-intentioned friend or neighbor for advice. No amateur diagnosing. One call to make: 911.

Wise words from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke:

Stroke is a medical emergency. Every minute counts when someone is having a stroke. The longer blood flow is cut off to the brain, the greater the damage. Immediate treatment can save people's lives and enhance their chances for successful recovery.

Ischemic strokes, the most common type of strokes, can be treated with a drug called t-PA, that dissolves blood clots obstructing blood flow to the brain. The window of opportunity to start treating stroke patients is three hours, but to be evaluated and receive treatment, patients need to get to the hospital within 60 minutes.
(Image from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services)

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