Monday, April 14, 2008

STROKE Recognition - Revisited

Hello Everyone,


It is well known that the sooner a patient is diagnosed and treated after experiencing an acute stroke the better the outcome is likely to be. However, it is often difficult for a non-stroke specialist to recognise and diagnose stroke. There is a method going around and listed on numerous Internet resources that tries to increase the awareness and importance of rapid stroke identification.

This portion of the post was copied from an email that I received.

RECOGNIZING A STROKE - Remember the "3" steps, S T R .

"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.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved."

This stroke recognition system appears to be a variation of a widely used field diagnostic test used by paramedics and other first responders. The FACE, ARM, SPEECH TEST (FAST).

Results from a study funded by The Stroke Association indicate that ambulance paramedics can accurately identify a stroke patient before they arrive in hospital.

The Face Arm Speech Test (FAST) has been developed as a stroke identification instrument.
The test assesses 3 neurological signs of stroke: · facial weakness · arm weakness · speech disturbance

FAST has been incorporated as an integral component of ambulance paramedics training module, and is included in the rapid ambulance protocol.

Please pass it on to all your friends, family and patients.


Dr. Paul

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