Recognizing a stroke

Posted on September 8, 2007
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Recognizing a stroke

Remember the “3” steps, S..T..R

Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

  • S – Ask the individual to SMILE.
  • T – Ask the person to TALK to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. . . It is sunny out today)
  • R – Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
    NOTE: Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is this: Ask the person to ‘stick’ out their tongue. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. (Snopes says this is questionable because it calls for too much judgment.)

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

    There is a fourth test which is to ask the person to stick out his or her tongue. If it goes crookedly to one side or the other, that is another sign. Information on Snopes recommends discarding this test in favour of saving the time and getting the individual to the hospital. Information there also emphasizes that lost time is lost brain and that moving a stroke patient does no harm. The harm is already done. One might put the patient in the car and head for the hospital while calling 911.


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