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How to Treat Someone Having a Stroke

Learn how to treat someone having a stroke in this first aid video from Howcast with Nurse Mary.


A stroke is very serious and needs to be treated right away. You'll commonly see this in elderly people, but you can see it in all ages, in all walks of life. You want to diagnose it quickly, and you want to get help quickly.

So what is a stroke? A stroke is a stoppage of blood to the brain. It can either be through an obstruction, which is like a blood clot in the brain, or it can be through hemorrhaging. Something is bleeding out, and you're not getting enough blood to the brain. So what will you see? You'll see numbness. You'll see tingling. You'll see vision disturbances. You'll see trouble speaking, trouble understanding speech, trouble walking, dizziness, confusion. Sometimes you'll see a sudden, severe headache that comes out of nowhere.

What are some of the signs that a person displays? Here's what you can do. You can have the person smile. You can have the person stick out their tongue. You can have the person raise their arms. You can have the person speak to you. With a stroke, you're going to see one side crooked. Their tongue will be crooked. Their smile will be crooked. Sometimes they can't even raise one side of their face. They'll have trouble walking and maintaining balance.

You want to get help right away. The faster you get medication, the faster you get treatment, the better the outcome of a stroke is. Call 911. Tell them, "I think my friend, I think my family member, I think someone's having a stroke." With a stroke, every minute counts. Every minute that you're in the house, every minute that you're in transit to the hospital, and every minute from when you get to the hospital to when you get to the stroke unit. The faster you can get them treatment, the better their recovery will be.

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