I don’t normally do public service announcements, but now that I’m also a nursing major and self conscious about my own health identity, I thought featuring a short bit on strokes was important. You may be thinking that I’m too young to be worried about strokes. Oh the contrary, the youngest stroke victim was 13.
A stroke is a “brain attack” which can occur as a result of a blood clot blocking an artery or a blood vessel bursting and effecting blood flow to the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strokes are the third leading cause of death in America. The American Heart Association also reports that across America, there are about 700,000 cases of strokes per year.
Here’s a 3-part test that can help indicate if someone is suffering a stroke and needs to go to the ER ASAP. It’s commonly referred to as the “S-T-R” Test, but is officially called Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale (CPSS).
S – Smile. Ask the person to smile. If he or she can’t or the smile is uneven, that may mean paralysis.
T – Talk. Ask the person to talk. If you hear slurred speech or an incoherent sentence, that means something is wrong.
R – Raise. Ask the person to raise both arms. If he or she can’t, that may mean paralysis.
If the person in question has trouble with any of these tasks or exhibits any of the symptoms, call 9-1-1! You may save a life and decrease the likelihood of disability.