Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Stroke Recognition: More Information Beyond the 3 Basic Questions

Last March, I wrote about stroke recognition. We have printed this information and posted it on our fridge:

The warning signs of a stroke are:
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

The three easy questions are:
  1. ask the individual to smile.
  2. ask him or her to raise both arms.
  3. ask the person to speak a simple sentence.
If s/he has trouble with any of these tasks, call 911 immediately, and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

But there is much more that is worth knowing. From Jack:
There is an additional bit of information to be aware of: the possibility of reversing the impact of a stroke if one gets proper medical treatment within three hours of symptom onset. This applies to the majority of strokes which are caused by blockages in blood supply to part of the brain. It does not apply to those caused by bleeding into the brain. The steps required for possible stroke 'reversal' are:

1/ Get to a major hospital emergency department as soon as possible, and certainly within three hours of symptom onset.

2/ Bring up the possibility of administering clot-busting drugs to the emergency MD immediately; if he/she is on the ball and facilities permit, an emergency CT scan should follow very quickly. The CT is necessary to detemine if the stroke is caused by a blockage /clot (good) or a bleed (bad). If it is the former, then you should receive a clot busting drug intravenously. All of this ideally transpires within a three hour time frame of symptom onset.

Don't assume this will automatically happen. [There are instances when it hasn't.]

This link is an older statement for the public, but still applies.

And this link gives a broader context to treatment.
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