Learn first aid for someone who may be having a stroke
1. Carry out the FAST test.
Face: is there weakness on one side of their face?
Arms: can they raise both arms?
Speech: is their speech easily understood?
Time: to call 999.
Strokes usually happen because of a blockage of the blood supply to the brain. This damages part of the brain, which can affect people’s appearance, bodily functions, speech and sight.
2. Call 999 as soon as possible.
If you can’t call 999, get someone else to do it.
A stroke needs immediate attention. The faster a person having a stroke gets medical help, the less damage there will be.
3. Reassure them while you wait for the ambulance.
Watch how to help someone who may be having a stroke (2 minutes 5 seconds)
Common questions about first aid for someone who may be having a stroke
How can I help the person if they are frightened or anxious?
Stay calm and let them know that help is on the way. Help them sit or lie down and reassure them while you wait for the ambulance.
Are there other signs and symptoms that someone may be having a stroke?
Yes, other signs and symptoms include:
- dribbling from the mouth
- blurred vision
- a sudden severe headache
- difficulty maintaining balance
- dizziness or feeling light-headed
- difficulty expressing themselves or understanding other people.
What causes someone having a stroke to have a drooping face, a weak arm and slurred speech?
Strokes are caused by problems in the blood supply to the brain. Brain cells become damaged and begin to die. This brain damage affects the body’s functions, resulting in facial or limb weakness. Sometimes only one limb or one side of the body is affected.
For more information on how to help someone having a stroke, visit the NHS website.
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