Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/First aid/Stroke

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A stroke is caused by an interruption of the arterial blood supply to a portion of the brain. This interruption may be caused by hardening of the arteries or by a clot forming in the brain. Tissue damage and loss of function result. Onset of a stroke is sudden, with little or no warning. The first signs include weakness or paralysis, especially on one side of the body. Muscles of the face may be particularly affected. The victim’s level of consciousness varies from alert to unresponsive. Difficulty speaking or understanding language; dizziness; sudden, severe headache; disorted, dim or patchy vision are all symptoms of stroke.

If the victim has sudden onset of any 2 or more of these signs and symptoms, call an ambulance immediately. First aid for a stroke is mainly supportive. Special attention must be paid to the victim’s airway, since he may not be able to keep it clear.

  • Call an ambulance
  • Place the victim in on their side, with the affected side down
  • Act in a calm, reassuring manner, and keep any onlookers quiet since the victim may be able to hear what is going on.
  • Carefully monitor the victim’s vital signs and keep a log. Pay special attention to respirations, and pulse strength and rate (take the pulse in the neck).