Strokes are a medical emergency and should be treated as urgently as possible. There are multiple reasons why someone may have a stroke including blood clots and weakened blood vessels. As well as this, certain conditions can increase the risk of stroke such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Below is what you should look out for in your loved one if you suspect they are having a stroke:
Using F.A.S.T – Face, Arms, Speech, Time
Face, arms and speech are the main stroke symptoms. Their face may have dropped on one side and they might not be able to lift their arms and keep them there. Similarly, their speech might be slurred. If any of these are present, then it is time to call 999.
F.A.S.T can identify most strokes, but there are some other symptoms that you can also look out for including:
Loss of vision Depending on where the stroke is occurring, your loved one could be experience a complete or partial loss of vision in their eyes.
A severe headache This will usually be a blinding pain which is unlike anything they have experienced before.
Paralysis This will usually be on one side of the body.
As well as a stroke, you should also be looking out for what’s called a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) which is a mini-stroke. TIA will show very similar signs to that of a stroke, but it will often only last for a few minutes or hours.
Regardless of what you think it is, you should always call 999 as it is impossible in the early stages to tell whether or not your loved one is having a full stroke or TIA.
TIA can also be a warning sign of having a full stroke in the future, so it is always best to get the symptoms checked as the doctors will be able to take an appropriate course of action.