Warning Signs of a Stroke: The Knowledge You Need to Act F.A.S.T
Strokes affect thousands of people every year in the United States. However, the warning signs might be difficult to detect without adequate CPR training. Some signs are evident if the stroke is happening gradually, but other symptoms may appear quite suddenly. Strokes are caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain, but they can also be caused by internal bleeding as well. Either way, the normal supply of blood to the brain is reduced, and this can result in serious injury or even death. `
Strokes can happen within a very short amount of time. This means that every minute really counts, so you should always be prepared to take action. Remember that the person will need medical attention immediately. Emergency medical services should be contacted right away; however, you must first become able to detect the signs of a stroke in order to provide this potentially life-saving assistance.
Signs of a Stroke
- Stroke victims will often become confused suddenly, and they may even have difficulty with their vision. Their comprehension abilities may also diminish, and the person might suddenly become unable to understand even basic directions.
- Normal vision might be affected by the lack of blood to the brain, and this can compromise the optic nerves that regulate sight. However, most stroke victims will not experience pain, and this can make it difficult to detect a problem. The lack of pain should also be interpreted as a symptom and a possible sign of a stroke.
- The nerves that regulate balance and motor coordination may also be affected by a stroke. Symptoms may manifest as a sudden inability to walk normally or maintain an upright position. In some cases, the person may fall down if they have other conditions that are exacerbated by a sudden loss of balance.
- Additional symptoms of a stroke may include intense dizziness, difficulty with normal speech and intense headaches that appear without warning. Any combination of these symptoms can be a warning sign that the person is experiencing a stroke.
What You Need to Know to Act F.A.S.T.
Health professionals are trained to recognize the signs of a stroke, and it is important to communicate information to them quickly and accurately. The best way to prepare for this situation is to obtain CPR certification. Many training systems employ the acronym “F.A.S.T.” This is a simple method of testing a person who you suspect might be having a stroke.
When you go through a CPR training course, you will learn about how this acronym works. It is an easy way to remember how to respond if a person is having a stroke. The acronym stands for the following:
- F: The first letter of the acronym stands for the face of the suspected stroke victim. If the person has drooping on one side, especially when smiling, this is a sign that the person might be having a stroke. When you ask them to smile, you can also monitor their ability to follow basic instructions.
- A: This letter stands for the testing of the arms, which will become excessively weak in stroke victims. If the person is unable to raise the arms to the level of the shoulders, a stroke should be suspected. In addition, the arms should be able to resist opposing force in this position. If the arm falls down or is unable to maintain its shoulder-level position against applied force, a stroke is indicated.
- S: Speech patterns can be affected if the person is having a stroke. This means that you need to ask the person questions that will allow you to observe their speaking abilities. Listen for slurring or stuttering. This condition is called dysarthria, and it indicates a possible stroke. This is also a good time to test comprehension abilities, which will be significantly reduced if the person is suffering from a stroke.
- T: The final letter in the fast acronym stands for time, and this is critical. Stroke victims need immediate medical attention, and you will need to quickly communicate the condition of the victim to the appropriate medical authorities in a short amount of time. Call 911 if you have reason to believe that the person is having a stroke and make notes of all the symptoms that you observed. This will help the medical team to dispatch quickly and take appropriate measures to minimize the damage. Always remember that time is critical, and every minute can have serious consequences for the victim.
Affordable CPR training and certification is available from qualified health organizations like First Response Training International. We will allow you to practice your skills in advance of an incident. If you become involved in a situation where a person is having a stroke, you will be able to recognize the signs and take appropriate steps to minimize harm. This is a critical skill that can save lives. You will learn how to recognize the signs of a stroke and take actions to get medical assistance to the victim. Adequate training and certification can prepare you to deal with this emergency. Take the initiative to become educated and skilled in evaluating the signs of a stroke. Practice various techniques that will help you decide if it is necessary to call emergency medical services.
The Benefits of a CPR Certification
A CPR Certification can help protect the health of the stroke victim because you will understand the importance of acting immediately and appropriately. A stroke victim may experience severe damage within an extremely short amount of time, so being prepared is critical. Our company offers premier courses to the general public in order to raise awareness about strokes. We encourage everyone to learn as much as possible about this condition and become competent in assessing situations where a stroke victim might be involved. This is especially true for people who are caring for elderly patients or relatives in the home. The best way to prepare for this possible event is to obtain CPR certification from First Response Training International.