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How to Treat a Stroke: First Aid Tips to Remember

How to Treat a Stroke: First Aid Tips to Remember

When it comes to strokes, getting help within the first few minutes is crucial. So it is important for people to be aware of stroke first aid tips because this information can potentially save a life.

How to Treat a Stroke: First Aid Tips

A stroke is a serious medical emergency. While it is true that strokes need to be treated at a hospital, there are things that you can do to help increase a stroke patient’s survival.

Here are 5 important stroke first aid tips:

1. Don’t panic

If you think that someone might be having a stroke, don’t panic. You need to stay alert and be aware of what’s happening if you want to save their life.

A good way to know if someone is indeed having a stroke is to remember the acronym F.A.S.T.

  • Face – Check if their face is drooping to one side.
  • Arms – If they are able to raise both their arms, check to see if one is higher than the other. This can be a sign of a stroke.
  • Speech – Is their speech slurred, or are they having difficulty talking?
  • Time – Take note of how long they have been experiencing these symptoms.

stroke first aid

2. Call 911 or the national emergency hotline

The next thing you need to do would be to call 911 or any emergency hotline as soon as possible. You can also ask for help from the people around you if you’re not able to call for help.

It would also be a good idea to not take them directly to the emergency room. This is because paramedics can start treatment as soon as they arrive. But if you drive them to the hospital, they can lose precious few minutes that are important to their survival.

It’s also a good idea to always keep your phone handy, and put emergency numbers on speed dial. This can help you get help quickly, which is very important since time is of the essence when it comes to a stroke.

3. Take note of the time

One important stroke first aid tip is to take note of what time the patient had a stroke. This is because certain medications used on stroke patients are only effective 4.5 hours after the stroke started.

Taking note of the time can also help doctors gauge how serious the patient’s stroke is. If possible, it would also be a good idea to take note of what time certain symptoms had started to appear. This information can help doctors better understand the patient’s condition so that they can take the necessary steps to save the patient’s life.

4. Perform CPR if necessary

If you have had CPR training, you can perform CPR if the patient needs it. This is usually the case if the patient is unconscious or suddenly loses consciousness.

Don’t be afraid if you aren’t trained in doing CPR; you can call an emergency hotline and the operator will guide you through what you need to do.

It would also be a good idea to seek CPR or first aid training beforehand. It’s a life-saving skill that everyone should learn.

5. Stay with them until help arrives

Lastly, it is important to stay with the patient until help arrives. This way, you can monitor their symptoms and keep them safe in the meantime.

It would also be good to avoid giving them any food, water, or medication in the meantime. This is because having a stroke can affect a person’s ability to swallow, and they can choke if they eat or drink something.

Key Takeaways

Strokes are a serious health concern, but if treated quickly, the prognosis for patients is positive.

When it comes to stroke first aid, seeking emergency help as soon as possible should be a top priority. While you’re waiting for help, keep the patient comfortable and take note of their symptoms to better aid medical responders later.

Learn more about Strokes and Aneurysms here.

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Sources

If Someone is Having a Stroke: 3 Things To Do and 3 Things Not To Do – Penn Medicine, https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/neuroscience-blog/2019/april/if-someone-is-having-a-stroke-3-things-to-do-and-3-things-not-to-do, Accessed January 26, 2021

Stroke: First aid – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-stroke/basics/art-20056602, Accessed January 26, 2021

Stroke – Warning Signs & First Aid Advice | St John Ambulance, https://www.sja.org.uk/get-advice/first-aid-advice/stroke/, Accessed January 26, 2021

First aid for stroke – myDr, https://www.mydr.com.au/heart-stroke/first-aid-for-stroke/, Accessed January 26, 2021

St John Victoria Blog | Stroke First Aid Advice – What To Do And What NOT To Do, https://www.stjohnvic.com.au/news/stroke-first-aid/, Accessed January 26, 2021

Learn first aid for someone who may be having a stroke, a blockage that can affect the brain, https://www.redcross.org.uk/first-aid/learn-first-aid/stroke, Accessed January 26, 2021

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jun 10
Medically reviewed by Nicole Aliling, M.D.
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