Also known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), a stroke occurs when blood flow is cut off from the brain. Strokes are commonly caused by cerebral blood clots, but they can also result from a burst cerebral aneurysm. In either case, a fast reaction to a stroke can have a positive impact on the victim’s health outcome. To help you learn why and how to react fast to strokes, IGEA Brain, Spine, & Orthopedics, which treats patients in the tri-state area, provides this helpful explanation.
The Importance of a Quick Stroke Response
Strokes can impact their victims in many different ways. For example, they can cause confusion, visual impairment, headache, physical weakness, and even trouble walking. However, some of their most dire effects can include permanent loss of speech, movement, or memory.
These serious, lasting effects are caused by the neural cell death associated with strokes. In other words, when strokes cut off both blood and oxygen from the brain, its cells can become damaged and die.
So, each minute a stroke victim goes without treatment, more and more of their brain cells can die, which increases a victim’s chances of losing physical and mental functioning.
How to React F.A.S.T. to Strokes
The consequences of strokes are serious and time-sensitive. That’s why healthcare providers have developed the F.A.S.T. acronym to teach people how to respond if they notice stroke-like symptoms in others. F.A.S.T. breaks down as follows:
- Face drooping: Since it’s one of the tell-tale signs of a stroke, check the person’s face to see if one side is drooping. Ask them if their face feels numb and request that they smile so you can take note of any unevenness.
- Arm weakness: Check to see if their arms feel numb or weak. To do this, ask them to raise both of their arms. Watch to see if one arm drifts downward.
- Speech difficulty: Examine the quality of their speech. Are their words slurring? Are they difficult to understand? If so, they might be having a stroke.
- Time to call 911: If you notice any of the above symptoms in your loved one, don’t wait. Call 911 and make a note of the time their symptoms first appeared.
Getting Treated for a Stroke
Upon arriving at the emergency room, a stroke patient is first physically examined. To complete their exam, their provider might run blood tests, perform magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a computerized tomography (CT) scan, and more. After determining their needs, the patient may receive one or more treatments to help repair and preserve their functioning.
At IGEA, our skilled neurosurgeons provide several treatments for patients who’ve suffered from strokes. One of these is called tissue plasminogen activator, and it was designed to help patients who’ve had ischemic strokes. Other effective forms of stroke treatment include intra-arterial thrombectomies and balloon angioplasties and stents.
Learn More Today
If you or a loved one is at risk for or has a history of stroke, IGEA’s New York and New Jersey offices are standing by to help you have a fast reaction time to this condition. And if a stroke does happen, we’re ready to provide effective treatments that will have you on the road to recovery. To learn more about our team’s preventative care services, contact us today.