Stroke: Know the 6 signs and how to react

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Stroke: Know the 6 signs and how to react
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When a person suffers a stroke, every second that passes by without treatment counts, because the patient loses 1.9 million brain cells per minute. 85% of cases relate to ischemic strokes, meaning that a blood clot obstructs a cerebral artery and interrupts the blood flow to the brain. In the other 15% of cases, the type of stroke is a haemorrhagic stroke: a small blood vessel in the brain ruptures and causes bleeding in the brain, which damages the neighbouring cells, and the affected area of the brain cannot function normally. Medical treatment is urgent, and this is why it is important to know the early signs of stroke. 

React fast if you notice any of the following 6 signs:

2 in 3 people who suffer a stroke do not get to the hospital in time to receive appropriate treatment. Call 999 as soon as possible.

1) Face fallen on one side

The person’s face becomes numb, they cannot smile, the lips may have fallen on one side.

2) Inability to move

The affected person loses strength in an arm or a leg. They experience numbness or more rarely paralysis in the limb.

Ask them to raise both arms -if they cannot do so, this could be a sign of a stroke.

3) Trouble with speaking or understanding

The person has difficulty speaking or pronouncing their words normally, and they can also have difficulty understanding what is said to them.

4) Sudden loss of balance

The person becomes unstable when they walk, and they walk as if they were drunk.

5) Intense headache

The headache is intense, violent and out of the ordinary.

6) Problems with vision

Even temporarily, the affected person could develop problems with vision, such as a loss of sight in one eye or double vision.

How should you react in the case of a stroke?

If you notice one of these 6 signs, call 999 immediately.

While you are waiting for emergency services to respond:

  • Lie the person down, if possible with a pillow under their head, and make note of the time when the the first symptoms appeared. If you can do so rapidly, gather any prescriptions and recent blood test results belonged to the person.
  • Don’t give the person anything to drink or eat, or any medication or injection, even if it is their usual treatment.

Sources : Améli Santé, Journal de Montreal