A stroke can be very debilitating, especially if medical attention was not given immediately. What could have been reversible damages to the brain can become irreversible, giving the patient permanent disability. It is for this reason why many individuals suffering from medical conditions that could potentially lead to stroke purchase medical monitoring devices. If they notice worrisome signs and symptoms of stroke, then they could easily get in touch with the right people by simply pressing the panic button. When their monitoring service receives the signal, they will then get in touch with the EMS who will send an ambulance to the patient’s location.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke is very important. If you know what to look out for and what to do, then you could save a life.
Signs and Symptoms of Stroke
If the patient complains of one-sided weakness, numbness, or paralysis, then it is a symptom of stroke. The patient could also exhibit verbal confusion as well as blurred speech, making it difficult for you to understand what the patient is saying. Other symptoms include sudden vision impairment in an eye or both eyes as well as headache and dizziness. A patient undergoing a stroke can also exhibit loss of balance as well as loss of muscle coordination, resulting to falls. If you notice these signs and symptoms in an individual, then you need to immediately call 911 and press the panic button, if the patient has a medical monitoring device.
What to Do
The first thing that you need to do after you’ve called 911 is to calm the patient down. Likewise, you should also stay calm yourself, otherwise your anxiety will rub off on the patient. Once you got him to calm down, you should let him lie down, his head as well as shoulders slightly more elevated than the rest of his body to alleviate the pressure on his brain. Make sure, too, that you loosen any tight clothing to keep his airway clear.
Do not allow him to move. You do not want a blood clot to be dislodged and travel to other parts of his body, causing more damage. If the patient asks for something to drink or eat, don’t give him any. It might cause him to choke, aggravating his situation further. If there are any secretions in his mouth like saliva or blood, then be sure to wipe it away to prevent choking.
Lastly, keep the patient very calm until the EMS arrives. Assure him that help is on its way.
The Unresponsive Patient
However, if the patient is unresponsive but breathing, you need to keep him on his left side with his chin slight extended. Not only will this keep his airway open, but it will also prevent the patient from choking on his own secretions should he vomit.
On the other hand, if the patient is unresponsive and not breathing, then you will need to perform CPR, provided, of course, that you have been trained and have completed the course. If not, then you, too, will need some help on how to perform the procedure. You can get the help you need to perform CPR from the 911 operator. He can talk you through the process of administering first aid treatment as well as CPR to the patient.