First aid for a stroke victim should include the following guidelines!, This article was written by Roy Shor, Roy is a former combat medic in the Israeli’s IDF and has worked for many years as a paramedic.
A stroke is extremely dangerous because it attacks the brain, so a fast reaction time is essential in order to increase the victim’s survival chances.
A stroke appears when the flow of blood toward the brain is blocked or when bleeding occurs in the brain.
The brain needs fresh blood all the time because brain cells die within minutes if they are deprived of oxygen.
Since blood takes oxygen and nutrients to the brain, it is obvious why a blockage or bleeding can become so dangerous.
In order to be able to know when a stroke takes place, there are several signs you need to have in mind.
What is a mild stroke?
A mild stroke is a medical condition in which blood flow to the brain is impaired. The brain cells – responsible for almost all normal body functions – need oxygen to function properly.
As the machines we produce that can not function without any fuel, brain cells cannot function if the blood supply is compromised.
When brain cells stop functioning, the area or physical activity on which they are deposited cannot function properly. Thus, if brain cells – or the area of the brain – that are responsible for activating our right hand are damaged, the hand will not work properly.
What causes the stroke?
The damage to blood flow to the brain can be caused by various causes. The causes can be divided into two types of stroke:
- Stroke due to blockage of blood vessels (ischemic stroke): When a blood clot blocks blood flow in a blood vessel leading to the brain.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: When a blood vessel is damaged by a trauma or other medical problem (eg, high blood pressure or weakening of the vascular wall).
How do you define a mild stroke?
The degree of severity of a stroke is determined by its outcome – the length of time that the symptoms (which we will elaborate on below) appear before the passing away and the amount of permanent or long-term damage caused:
- When the symptoms pass spontaneously and without treatment, the event is called a transient stroke.
- When the symptoms disappear after a few hours and following treatment and there is no long-term damage, the event is defined as a mild stroke.
- When the symptoms do not go away after a few hours but remain for a long time and even on a regular basis, the event is defined as a severe stroke.
It is important to emphasize that there is no clear definition of each type of stroke. The boundaries are not always clear and therefore it is not always possible to clearly define the type of the specific brain event.
Either way, it is common that a mild stroke is a stroke that did not cause permanent damage to the victim.
What are the symptoms of a mild stroke?
Muscle dysfunction on one side of the body: There is weakness or partial paralysis of the muscles on one side of the body – usually the limbs or face – and the ability to move is impaired.
In many cases, the victim’s face becomes distorted – one side of the face “sinks” downwards – because the muscles on one side of the face do not function.
Impairment of the ability to speak and the ability to understand: The victim speaks in an unclear way (both in terms of content and ability to express certain words) or he has difficulty understanding what was said to him.
Damage to motor ability: The victim finds it difficult to perform simple activities such as walking or holding something in his hands – he loses a feeling in his limbs or has trouble moving them. An accepted test for the symptom: to ask the victim to lift both hands upwards at the same time.
Because a stroke will affect the nervous system of a person, the affected person may have half of his or her face dropped. This is even more visible when the person tries to smile, as only half of the mouth will move upward in a smile, while the other half will remain dropped.
The arms are affected in the same manner, so when the person will try raising them up, one will appear higher than the other, as the brain fails in delivering the right commands to the body’s limbs.
Slurred speech or the inability to state a simple sentence are other signs that a stroke is unrolling inside the brain.
Don’t expect for all these signs to be present before you call 911.
If you notice any of these signs then you should immediately call for medical help, as one sign is enough to indicate a serious problem.
What Does The First Aid For A Stroke Victim Should Include?
Depending on the type and severity of the stroke.
- Embolism or clot: Treatment will include removing the cause of the stroke – dissolving the blood clot or embolism that prevents the proper flow of blood to the brain.
- Intracranial hemorrhage: drainage of the accumulated fluid, intracranial pressure reduction, stopping bleeding and repair of the damaged spot.
What are the results of a mild stroke?
As noted above, a mild stroke is a stroke that has no long-term, permanent results. However, a mild stroke significantly increases the likelihood of a severe stroke. The recovery from the event also includes appropriate lifestyle changes designed to prevent more serious events.
Is it possible to prevent a stroke?
There is no way to completely prevent a stroke – easy or difficult – but you can reduce the chances of it happening. Also, someone who has already had a stroke can reduce the chance of another event. There is a medication that can reduce the risk of another stroke, so consult your healthcare provider.
Because there are several factors that increase the likelihood of a stroke, knowing and caring for them can reduce the risk of a stroke.
Risk Factors for Stroke:
- high blood pressure
- diabetes mellitus
- Excess fats in the blood
- Heart rhythm disorders
Note that some of the factors (obesity, diabetes, blood pressure) are directly related to diet and therefore proper nutrition is essential. In addition, changes in our lifestyles – avoidance of smoking, proper exercise – can also have a significant impact on the likelihood of a stroke.
How to provide first aid on a stroke?
While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, there are some things you can do to help a victim of a stroke.
First of all, stay calm at all times.
Make sure the person sits in a comfortable position. Preferably, you should place the person lying on one side, with the head slightly higher, just in case nausea occurs and he or she feels the need to vomit.
Keep an eye on their breathing. If you notice trouble in breathing, loosen the victim’s clothes and remove any items that can cause shortness of breath, like a scarf around the neck.
If the person stops breathing, then immediately start performing CPR(click here for online first aid and CPR courses).
If the person is conscience, talk to him or her in a calm and comforting manner.
Keep the person covered with a blanket and avoid offering anything to eat or drink.
Do not try to move the person especially if the victim presents a weakness of the limbs.
Until the paramedics arrive, closely monitor the condition of the person, so you’ll know to provide any changes or details that may be relevant.
Also, make sure to tell the paramedics if the person fell and hit the head while having a stroke.
It is important to mention when the symptoms started and how they manifested as well because every piece of information is useful.
If you keep in mind all these aspects, then a victim of a stroke has high chances of recovering with minimum damage.
Just make sure to dial the emergency number as soon as you notice one of the symptoms occurring.
What Does The First Aid For A Stroke Victim Should Include? Basically, there is not so much that we can do, the main thing is to recognize the symptoms and call 911 as earlier as we can, a fast response is crucial and might save lives.
We hope that this article has helped you to recognize the symptoms and the importance of fast response to a stroke event.
You can also read about first aid for chocking here!
We hope that now you understand more what first aid for a stroke victim should include and how to identify and act, you can check here our recommended online first aid courses site, they have a lot of online first aid and CPR courses which we have found as incredibly informative and practical.