Stroke occurs when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted long enough to cause damage.
This may be caused by a clot formed in an artery in the brain or carried to the brain in the bloodstream, a ruptured artery in the brain or by compression of an artery in the brain, as found with brain tumors.
First aid consists primarily of recognizing signs and symptoms and seeking professional attention.
Signs and symptoms of a stroke include:
- Weakness and numbness of the face, arm or leg, often on one side of the body only.
- Ringing in the ears
- A change of mood
- Difficulty speaking
- Pupils of uneven size
- Difficulty in breathing and swallowing
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
IF YOU SUSPECT A PERSON IS HAVING A STROKE, HAVE THEM STOP WHATEVER THEY ARE DOING AND REST.
PROMPTLY OBTAIN PROFESSIONAL HELP. Reassure the victim and keep them comfortable. Do not give anything by mouth. If the victim vomits, allow for fluids to drain from the mouth. Observe carefully while awaiting professional help and, if trained to do so, monitor the airway, breathing and circulation and BE PREPARED TO ADMINISTER RESCUE BREATHING OR CPR, IF REQUIRED!
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