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Sunday, December 8, 2013
Stroke First Aid
What not to do if I suspect someone is having a stroke and WHY?
If you think someone is having a stroke, you should call 911 and get them to the emergency room for immediate evaluation. You should not wait to see if it passes on its own. You should try to determine when exactly it began, or exactly when was the last time the subject was seen to be normal. You should, if possible, help the medical professionals who will see the stroke patient by relaying what medical conditions the person has and what medications they take. With stroke, it is not uncommon for the patient to be unable to speak for him/herself, and all of this information is critical to us in deciding what treatment we can offer.
I have written about this previously for the Netwellness site, but stroke comes in two varieties—ischemic (blood vessel to the brain blocked by a blood clot) and Hemorrhagic (ruptured blood vessel in the brain).
Time is of the essence. The only approved therapy for ischemic stroke, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), can be administered to help patients within 3 hours of onset.
Brett Kissela, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Director, Neurology Residency Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati