Monday, May 7, 2012

May: To Kept May Merry Know the Signs of Stroke


"May, its May the lusty month of May..." It is one of my favorite songs from the musical Camelot. It is where Guinevere sings this song with the chorus with joy and abandonment. Mayis a delicious month. The mountains in the Rockies may still have snow on their peaks, but the slopes are green and the creeks are beginning to roar with icy cold melt from the snow. 



May also is National Stroke Month. It is critical that everyone knows the signs of stroke and reacts immediately. Stroke patients have a small window to reach a hospital where they can get brain saving treatment. There is no benefit in waiting. Immediate treatment is required to determine the type of stroke:
ischemic: to simply state a clot or blockage
hemorrhagic: to simply state a bleed either inside the brain or inside outside.
Once the type of stroke is determined then treatment can begin. There is only a 3-41/2 window for the clot-busting drug: tissue plaminogen activator (tPA).


Call 911 Immediately when you see the following signs or symptoms:
    Sudden loss of balance or coordination
    Sudden change in vision (either in one or both eyes)
    Sudden weakness of the face (ask them to smile)
    Sudden difficulty speaking (can’t speak or the person's mouth is moving and nothing comes out or nothing understandable is spoken) 
    Sudden loss of ability to do a simple task
    Time the symptom started

Don't let the person talk you out of calling 911.  Laying down and letting this headache pass, blurry vision go away, inability to stand up is just a fleeting thing may be their excuse, but if this is out of the ordinary you make the call. Your call can make the difference between life, disability, and death. Remember that 32,000 brain cells die every second. You need to be decisive and act fast.

If you want your loved ones to be merry not only in May, but throughout life, know the signs of stroke and react fast.


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