CPR for the rest of us/ And Stroke

Tonight, I haven’t really had time to check the news yet. But a friend passed this to me and I think it’s worth sharing.

You could save a life.


Since I’m doing this, I checked out several Stroke sites and came up with this. Stroke is very common and while you cannot do anything much for a stroke victim yourself, calling 911 immediately can make the difference between death and recovery, either full or partial. The faster the stroke victim gets to an emergency room the better the recovery can be. So don’t follow the whole series of tests. If any  one looks suspicious, just call 911. The EMTs are well trained to handle this. If you are wrong, you will have inconvenienced the Emergency Medical Technicians. That’s what they get paid for. If you are right, you may have saved someones life. When in doubt call 911.

  1. The HALT MnemonicThe HALT mnemonic describes and helps you to remember the 4 major signs of a stroke. These are:H: HeadA sudden, severe, unexplained headache and/or neck pain (think: worst pain you’ve ever felt in your entire life), along with hemiplegia, which is paralyzation or drooping of one side of the face.A: Arms
    Sudden, unexplained numbness or weakness in either arm, along with the inability to pick up or hold an item.

    L: Legs
    Sudden, unexplained numbness or weakness in either leg, along with difficulty standing or walking, or the inability to stand up unassisted.

    T: Talking
    Slurred speech, difficulty speaking, or the inability to speak or form words.

    All of these symptoms suddenly appearing signal the sign of a stroke, and as soon as they become apparent, contact 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY. Time is of the essence in the instance of a stroke; if blood supply to the brain is restricted or cut off for too long, more severe side effects will surface, the victim will suffer severe, irreparable brain damage, and death becomes more likely the longer you wait.

  2. Step 2

    The Three-Point Test

    Another method to see whether an individual is suffering from stroke is the three-point test. If the individual has trouble performing any of the following tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and explain that you believe the victim is currently having a stroke:

    Ask the individual to smile: if the person cannot form a smile on both sides of the mouth, or one or both sides of the mouth and/or faces seem to “droop,” these are major signs of a stroke.

    Ask the individual to raise and lower both arms: if the person cannot raise their arms, complains of numbness or tingling, or tells you they are raising their arm when they are clearly not, this is another sign of a stroke; however, this can also indicate a heart attack – in which case, you should call 9-1-1 immediately, anyway.

    Ask the individual to repeat a simple sentence, like, “My name is Jane Smith:” if the person has slurred speech, has trouble forming words, or appears to be speaking but no words or audible noises are heard (called aphasia) this is also another major sign of a stroke.

    If the individual does not seem to understand what you are saying or responds with nonsensical answers, this is also a sign of a stroke. Remember, time is of the essence; call for help immediately if any of these symptoms are apparent.

    Some will also ask the individual to stick their tongue out, and see if the tongue is “crooked” or not, but this is not a reliable method to recognize a stroke; for starters, the tongue does not always go limp or “crooked” during a stroke. Second, if drooping of the face is apparent, having the individual stick out their tongue is irrelevant, as the same issue causing the face to drop is what affects the tongue. Third, the definition of “crooked” varies from person to person, which could lead to someone erroneously reporting a stroke when it is actually something else, or nothing at all. Skip the tongue test to recognize a stroke, and rely on the tried-and-true methods above to determine whether or not someone is suffering from a stroke.


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