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Mild Stroke First Aid: Take These Immediate Steps and Save a Life

Mild Stroke First Aid: Take These Immediate Steps and Save a Life

We are all looking for a “stroke of luck” when it comes to things like the lottery, but when it comes to an actual stroke, there’s nothing lucky about it. Surviving a stroke is more than just a matter of luck, you have to notice the signs and act quickly. Even in a milder case, mild stroke first aid is a must. Learn more about this type of stroke and how to manage it today.

What is a Mild Stroke?

By definition, a stroke is when there is an interruption of blood flow to the brain. It can be due to a block, resulting in ischemia or oxygen deprivation, or due to bleeding in the brain known as hemorrhage. Because the brain is a very delicate organ, even a few minutes without oxygen or nutrients can cause damage to the cells. To make matters worse, brain cells do not regenerate as easily as skin or muscle, which means some damage cannot be repaired.

Strokes can be graded based on their severity; either mild, moderate, or severe. In a mild stroke, evidence of brain damage can be seen, although symptoms may more easily resolve compared to moderate or severe strokes. Read on to learn more about mild stroke first aid.

Mild Stroke vs. Severe Stroke: What’s the Difference?

Mild Stroke First Aid Tips

Remember to B.E.F.A.S.T.

Because the brain is so sensitive to changes in blood flow and pressure and damage can be permanent, it is important to act quickly. The acronym B.E.F.A.S.T. provides a short checklist of signs and symptoms to check for when you suspect a stroke is happening. Each letter of the acronym stands for:

Balance: Check if patient is having difficulty with their balance.

Eye Changes: This refers to changes in vision that the patient may be suffering. Watch out if patient has double vision or has lost vision.

Face: Check for facial asymmetry or drooping on one side. This indicates that one of the nerves that control facial muscles has been affected and can be helpful to determine which side the stroke happened.

Arms: Have the person raise both of their arms in front of their body. If one arm is weaker, this may indicate that a stroke happened on the opposite side of the brain.

Speech: Ask the person to verbally respond to you. If their speech is slurred or they have trouble talking normally, this may also be a sign of stroke.

Time: Take note of how long the person has been experiencing these symptoms. Time is also of the essence when bringing the patient to the emergency room. The sooner the person is brought to the hospital, the better their chances are of avoiding severe disability or death.

Mild stroke first aid should be taken seriously, the same as if it were a severe stroke. Even if symptoms subside or are “not that bad,” a trip to the emergency room is still ideal after a mild stroke.

What You Shouldn’t Do

After doing mild stroke first aid, you may be wondering what medications are okay to take. Some people believe that they should take low-dose aspirin during or after a stroke, but this is a misconception.

While aspirin can help thin the blood, it is not suitable for treating strokes. In fact, clots are not always to blame. For example, a hemorrhagic stroke caused by an injury will worsen with aspirin as it can promote bleeding. Therefore, it is important to call a doctor or emergency services during a stroke to know what treatment can be done.

Key Takeaways

In summary, mild stroke first aid is still essential. Mild strokes should never be ignored. If you or someone you know has experienced symptoms or signs of a mild stroke, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Learn more about Strokes here.

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jun 03
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