Three Things to Do and Three Things Not to Do if Someone is Having a Stroke

A stroke patient has to be aware that every second matters. Furthermore, your actions during such crucial times may be able to save someone’s life.

A “brain attack” is a common description for a stroke. A blood artery that supplies a portion of the brain either breaks or has a clot, blocking it from receiving the oxygen and blood it needs to operate.

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More brain cells perish after a stroke the longer it is left untreated. However, if a patient gets to the hospital in time, there are therapies that may be administered.

Three Action Items to Take When Someone Is Stroke

1. Make an instant 911 call

If everything else fails, make a swift call to 911.

Dr. Humbert says, “Identifying stroke symptoms is the hardest thing you have to do.” In the event that you notice any symptoms, you should dial 911 right away. Additionally, you ought to notify the 911 operator right away if you believe you or a loved one is experiencing a stroke.

Uncertain about the signs and symptoms of a stroke? Give this National Stroke Association FAST exam to someone you suspect is experiencing a stroke.

2. Record the moment when symptoms appear.

If someone is experiencing a stroke, they may be administered tPA, or tissue plasminogen activator, a clot-busting drug that may reverse or prevent symptoms from appearing. However, according to Dr. Humbert, it must be administered no later than 4.5 hours after the onset of symptoms.

At Penn Medicine, patients can also be eligible for more sophisticated therapy including endovascular procedures. Surgically removing a clot that resulted in a stroke or treating an aneurysm—a bulging blood artery that bursts and causes bleeding and pressure buildup in the brain—are two examples of endovascular therapies. Time is crucial because ischemic strokes, the most prevalent form of strokes caused by blood clots or blockages, require endovascular therapies to be started within 24 hours after the onset of symptoms in order to enhance results.

“The first thing a witness should do if they encounter someone experiencing stroke symptoms is to always contact 911. However, it would be beneficial if they looked into when the symptoms first appeared. Alternatively, if the patient was already diagnosed with stroke symptoms, it is beneficial to try to determine the last time you or another person saw the patient symptom-free and acting normally, the expert advises. “In this manner, the medical personnel can decide on treatments with greater knowledge and guarantee that they are as safe as possible.”

3. If required, provide CPR

Most stroke victims don’t need CPR, according to Dr. Humbert. However, be sure to check your buddy or spouse’s respiration and pulse if they are unconscious when you discover them. If none are found, dial 911 and begin CPR while you wait for an ambulance to come.

If you are unsure or don’t know how to conduct CPR, which is repetitive, steady chest compressions, you can also ask the 911 operator to demonstrate it to you, as stated by the American Heart Association.

Third Things Not to Do in the Event of a Stroke

1. Refuse to allow them go to sleep or try to persuade you out of dialing 911.

When a stroke initially occurs, survivors frequently lament that they feel extremely drowsy all of a sudden.

Doctor, “A lot of patients come in and say they were so tired that they went to sleep for a few hours before they came to the hospital.”

But there’s not much time left. “A stroke survivor’s access to medication and any surgical treatments we may provide is extremely time-sensitive,” the speaker continues. They shouldn’t turn in for the night or contact their primary care physician beforehand. They ought to just head straight to the emergency department instead.

According to Dr. Humbert, don’t allow anyone try to convince you not to take them to the hospital, no matter how hard they may try.

2. Refrain from giving them food, drink, or medication.

Two categories of strokes exist:

Brain leaks from a damaged blood artery that results in hemorrhagic stroke

An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel.

Eighty percent of strokes are ischemic, but if you fall into the twenty percent of people whose stroke was brought on by a burst blood artery in the brain, you should avoid taking aspirin, advises Dr. Humbert. “And until you get to the emergency room and get a CAT scan, you can’t tell which one it is.” Aspirin is a blood thinner, therefore it may actually make your loved one more hurt and increase their bleeding if they are genuinely experiencing a hemorrhagic stroke.

Give no medicine to someone experiencing signs of a stroke, just to be safe.

It’s also a bad idea to offer them anything to eat or drink before the ambulance arrives. According to Dr. Humbert, “a stroke can sometimes affect their ability to swallow.” In the end, this can be more harmful to the individual if they suffocate and get infections or respiratory problems.

3. Avoid taking a car to the ER for yourself or someone else.

Drive a stroke sufferer to the closest emergency room may seem like a smart idea. However, Dr. Humbert advises contacting 911 if the victim of a stroke is seriously impacted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that while the patient is being transported to the emergency department, emergency responders can begin life-saving care. Furthermore, since not all hospitals are equipped to manage stroke patients, emergency responders will make sure the individual is brought to one that has the drugs and procedures needed to treat stroke patients right away, if that is the case.

If your stroke symptoms increase and make it unsafe for you to drive, you also don’t want to drive yourself to the hospital.

Remain Concentrated and Move Immediately

Even though seeing someone suffer a stroke might be terrifying, there are several important things you can do to assist your loved one have the best chance of recovery. As Dr. Humbert points out, “we have a process in place to treat someone who is having a stroke critically once they get here.” “However, they must arrive as soon as possible.”

The Indications That May Point to a Stroke

A stroke’s symptoms might differ from patient to patient. However, they frequently have one thing in common: they catch people off guard.

According to her, “stroke symptoms come on very suddenly.” People might exhibit symptoms like weakness, numbness, difficulty speaking, or loss of eyesight all of a sudden, even when they are feeling good one minute. They could be curious about its origin.

What is taking place? A stroke is a condition in which there is a disruption in the blood supply to the brain. This can be caused by a blockage of blood flow (ischemic stroke) or a rupture of a blood vessel resulting in bleeding (hemorrhagic stroke).

According to the National Stroke Association, when there is abnormal blood flow, brain cells begin to die and the functions that are controlled by that part of the brain, such speech, movement of the muscles, and vision, are either lost or severely affected.

Depending on the severity of the stroke and how soon the patient gets care, the repercussions may result in irreversible brain damage and impairment.